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Professor A H Halsey

Professor A H Halsey

Broadcast

First broadcast: Sun 04 May 2003

Sociologist

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the sociologist and Oxford Emeritus Professor A H Halsey. Prof Halsey played a key part in the switch to comprehensives as an adviser to Labour Education Secretary Anthony Crossland in the 1960s. Born in 1923 to working class parents he grew up convinced that intelligence wasn't dependent on class. Chelly, as Halsey was universally known, won a scholarship to grammar school but started his career inauspiciously as a sanitary inspector's apprentice, where he became intimately acquainted with such delights as the putrid lungs of diseased cattle. During the war he trained as a fighter pilot and perfected the 'aerial handbrake turn' that would keep him out of the way of the Japanese Kamikaze pilots. It was practising this manoevre that very nearly cost him his life as his plane took a nose dive, recovering only yards from the ground.

After the war he went to the LSE and on to make a name for himself in the rapidly expanding discipline of sociology, and for some 40 years has held a professorship at Nuffield College, Oxford. Along the way he's taken on the grammar school system, the class system, the establishment and feminism. As he turns eighty, he talks to Sue Lawley about his life and times.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Choices

Marie Lloyd Memoirs

1.

Marie Lloyd Memoirs

Don't Dilly Dally On the Way

Stuart Legg

2.

Stuart Legg

Night Mail - Post Office Publicity Film 1936

John Bunyan

3.

John Bunyan

He Who Would Valiant Be

Soloist: Christopher Dearnley Conductor: John Scott

Others who chose this artist

Richard Wagner

5.

Richard Wagner

Liebestod (from Tristan und Isolde)

Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra Conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Vangelis

6.

Vangelis

Chariots of Fire (Titles)

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Giacomo Puccini

7.

Giacomo Puccini

Un bel di vedremo (One fine day) (from Madama Butterfly)

Soloist: Joan Hammond

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

8.

Castaway's favourite

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Requiem in D minor - Lacrymosa

Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker Conductor: Sir George Solti

Others who chose this artist

Book

Utopia by Thomas Moore

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Luxury item

Solar-powered radio

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