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Episode 6 of 10

Sir David Cannadine explores Winston Churchill's love affair with cinema and friendship with stars like Charlie Chaplin. With a scene from Churchill's forgotten screenplay.

Winston Churchill was revered by millions as the saviour of Britain in the Second World War, but he wasn't just a great war leader - he wrote millions of words of journalism, he painted, he built brick walls, he owned racehorses, he gambled in Monte Carlo casinos and even wrote screenplays. Yet his personality was mercurial; bouts of hyper-activity were interspersed with black days of depression. While he had a loving marriage, he spent long periods apart from his wife and children, some of whom caused him deep anxiety and distress.

To mark the fiftieth anniversary of his death, celebrated historian Sir David Cannadine, author of In Churchill's Shadow, examines the life and career of Winston Churchill by looking at ten different themes that are less well known, but which are crucial to a fuller understanding of one of the most extraordinary individuals ever to occupy No. 10 Downing Street.

Winston Churchill was a film fanatic and sought an active role in the movie business. He became friends with Charlie Chaplin and collaborated as a screenwriter in the 1930s with the great Hungarian-born director Alexander Korda. A scene set in the trenches of World War One from Churchill's screenplay - never made into a film - is dramatised here for the first time, as Sir David Cannadine explores Winston Churchill's love affair with cinema and his growing awareness of the power of the moving image. Featuring Roger Allam as Winston Churchill.

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald
A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

15 minutes

Last on

Mon 26 Jan 2015 13:45


Role Contributor
Producer Denys Blakeway


  • Mon 21 Mar 2011 15:45
  • Wed 27 Feb 2013 14:15
  • Mon 23 Jun 2014 14:15
  • Tue 24 Jun 2014 00:15
  • Mon 26 Jan 2015 13:45

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

A collection of programmes celebrating the life and achievements of Winston Churchill.