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Hilda Matheson
 
Hilda Matheson was head-hunted by the BBC in 1926. She had previously worked for MI5 and before that, for several years as Nancy Astor's political secretary. As the BBC's first Director of Talks, she transformed the airwaves, bringing to the wireless intellectual heavyweights such as HG Wells, Bernard Shaw and the woman who would become her lover, the novelist Vita Sackville-West.

Hilda Matheson was the first to realise that there is a specific art to talking on the radio, and she introduced high production values. In December 1931, she had a spectacular falling out with the BBC's managing director, John Reith, leading to her resignation. She went on to oversee The African Survey and to run the Joint Broadcasting Committee during WWII.

 
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