The Solitary Billionaire: J. Paul Getty

First transmitted in 1963, Alan Whicker interviews billionaire J. Paul Getty, who discusses reports of his meanness, his unsuccessful marriages, why he keeps working and what he's had to sacrifice to become the world's richest man.

Alan Whicker wrote of the interview: "In search of this elusive character who had never revealed himself or his secret and impassive thoughts, I stayed at his new home in Surrey, a Tudor mansion which belonged to Henry VIII. A gracious, somewhat absent-minded host, he lives comfortably in quiet splendour; many less rich men live much grander lives." "Producer Jack Gold and I found Paul Getty the classic anti-interviewer; reluctant, modest, shy, set in his conversational ways, and (as a man who always issues orders) unused to questions - for who would dare question the richest man in the world?) We did - at length. And Paul Getty talked of his money, and how he made it; his attitude towards ordinary folk and the public reaction to him; why he chose to live in England, yet requires Alsatian dogs and bodyguards... he dodged nothing. He was honest and self-searching."

Available now

55 minutes

Last on

Sun 24 Feb 1963 10:10
BBC Television Service

BBC Four Talk Collection

BBC Four Talk Collection
This programme is part of Talk - a collection of interviews with some of the most influential figures of the 20th century.

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More about this programme

"In search of this elusive character who had never revealed himself or his secret and impassive thoughts, I stayed at his new home in Surrey, a Tudor mansion which belonged to Henry VIII. A gracious, somewhat absent-minded host, he lives comfortably in quiet splendour; many less rich men live much grander lives. 

“Producer Jack Gold and I found Paul Getty the classic anti-interviewer; reluctant, modest, shy, set in his conversational ways, and (as a man who always issues orders) unused to questions - for who would dare question the richest man in the world?) We did - at length. And Paul Getty talked of his money, and how he made it; his attitude towards ordinary folk and the public reaction to him; why he chose to live in England, yet requires Alsatian dogs and bodyguards... he dodged nothing. He was honest and self-searching."

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Programmes are selected, in part, for their historical context and reflect the broadcast standards and attitudes of their time, which may not accord to some current BBC editorial guidelines. We aim to select programmes which can be shown in their entirety but in some cases edits are required.

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterAlan Whicker
Interviewed GuestJ. Paul Getty
ProducerJack Gold

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