Michael Berkeley's guest is former prime minister Sir John Major.
Michael Berkeley's guest this week is Sir John Major, who succeeded Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister in November 1990, and served until Tony Blair's victory in the 1997 General Election. His father worked as a music hall performer, and he left school at 15 before continuing to study and qualifying as a banker. He became a Conservative Parliamentary candidate in 1974, and in 1979 became an MP in the Huntingdon constituency, a seat he held until his retirement from politics in 2001. After the 1987 General Election he was promoted to the Cabinet, and became Foreign Secretary in July 1989, and later that year Chancellor of the Exchequer, following the shock resignation of Nigel Lawson. His tenure as Prime Minister included the liberation of Kuwait, the beginning of the peace process in Northern Ireland, and the establishment of the National Lottery. He has recently published a memoir of his father, 'My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall', and has always retained a strong affection for the music of that genre, as well as for a wide variety of classical music, a passion he shares with his wife Norma.