Cressida Dick; Philomena Lee; Savages

Powerlister and Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, the most senior female police officer in the Metropolitan Police Force. The phenomenon of gas lighting - a term to describe a form of emotional abuse that involves tricking someone into doubting their own sanity. The real Philomena Lee whose story is the basis for a new film 'Philomena' starring Dame Judy Dench. It tells how she was disowned by her Irish family when she became pregnant out of wedlock aged 18. Jenni talks to her about her loss, her search and her life. And we hear from Mercury Award nominated post punk female band Savages.

Presented by Jenni Murray.
Producer Lucinda Montefiore.

Release date:

Available now

58 minutes

Last on

Wed 30 Oct 2013 10:00

Power List interview: Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick

Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick serves as the most senior female officer within the Metropolitan Police, a rank equivalent to that of Chief Constable outside London. During the Olympic and Paralympic games, she was national director for counter terrorism, an extension of her role leading on the long-term threat of terrorism across the UK.  A trained hostage negotiator, she has extensive experience in public order, firearms and security. In 2005, she was the officer in charge of the operation which led to the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. A jury cleared her of blame at the end of the prosecution of the Metropolitan Police under health and safety laws. Three years ago she was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal.


Gaslighting is a colloquial term to describe a form of emotional abuse that involves tricking someone into doubting their own sanity.   The term comes from the play Gaslight made into a film in 1944, starring Ingrid Bergman.  Jenni is joined by Elizabeth Forbes who has written a novel, Nearest Thing to Crazy, in which the main character is being psychological manipulated in this way, and by Susanna Abse, psychoanalytic psychotherapist and director of The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships.


Post punk band Savages are the only all-female band on this year’s Mercury Prize list with their debut album Silence Yourself. Guitarist Gemma Thompson describes their direct, in-your-face, post-punk sound, and why as four young women, they decided to write a music manifesto to take control of their music, their look, and their careers.

Silence Yourself is out now on Matador, and their new single Husbands is out on Monday. The winner of this year’s Mercury music prize will be announced this evening, Wednesday 30 October.


Philomena Lee

The film ‘Philomena’ starring Dame Judy Dench tells the story of Philomena Lee who was disowned by her Irish family when she became pregnant out of wedlock aged 18. As a ‘fallen woman’ she was sent to a convent in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, where her child Anthony was born. At three years old he was sold for adoption to an American family. For over 50 years she kept silent about her ‘shameful secret’ whilst trying, in vain, to find Anthony.On the other side of the Atlantic her son, now Michael Hess,was working as George Bush Senior’s chief legal counsel and trying to find his birth mother.  Philomena talks to Jenni about her loss, her search and her life.


BBC Films - Philomena


Role Contributor
PresenterJenni Murray
Interviewed GuestCressida Dick
Interviewed GuestPhilomena Lee
Interviewed GuestElizabeth Forbes
Interviewed GuestSusanna Abse
Interviewed GuestGemma Thompson
ProducerLucinda Montefiore

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