Esther Rantzen

From "That's Life" to ChildLine and beyond, broadcaster Esther Rantzen examines her younger self in the BBC Sound archives and discusses her reaction with John Wilson.

Esther Rantzen became a fixture on people's televisions as the face of "That's Life", the consumer journalism television programme which ran for over 20 years. But she began her career in the BBC doing spot effects for drama productions and gained gradual on-screen exposure on "Braden's Week" and "Nationwide". She made several landmark films examining stillbirth and dying and her campaigns for victims of child abuse led to the formation of ChildLine.

Among the clips that she hears from the archives are an early written sketch from "That Was the Week That Was", one of her first reports from "Nationwide", the very first edition of "That's Life" and an extract from a little-known encounter with the sculptor Fiore de Henriquez who made a sculpture of the head of Esther and her new baby Emily.

Esther also discusses her relationship with her late husband Desmond Wilcox, the formation of ChildLine and her decision to stand as an independent MP.

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

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58 minutes

Last on

Sun 12 Feb 2017 03:00