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George Orwell

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson chooses the writer, George Orwell. With Jean Seaton and Matthew Parris. From 2012.

Whilst at school, a young Alan Johnson was given some money by a teacher and told to go and buy four copies of any book for the school library. He headed down the Kings Road in Chelsea, stopping only for a sly cigarette along the way. Having already read 'Animal Farm', he picked 'Keep the Aspidistra Flying' and yearned for the life of lead character Gordon Comstock.

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson tells Matthew Parris, why Orwell was crucial to his education and political development.

But he's surprised to learn that Orwell is not on the National Curriculum, and insists that Orwell would have hated ID cards.

With Jean Seaton, Professor of Media History at the University of Westminster and Chair of the Orwell Prize.

Producers: Beatrice Fenton and Toby Field.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September 2012.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 29 Aug 2021 05:30


  • Tue 18 Sep 2012 16:30
  • Fri 21 Sep 2012 23:00
  • Thu 20 Aug 2015 18:30
  • Fri 21 Aug 2015 00:30
  • Thu 7 Mar 2019 18:30
  • Fri 8 Mar 2019 00:30
  • Thu 26 Aug 2021 18:30
  • Fri 27 Aug 2021 00:30
  • Sat 28 Aug 2021 07:30
  • Sat 28 Aug 2021 17:30
  • Sun 29 Aug 2021 05:30

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