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Kika Markham

Michael Berkeley's guest is actress Kika Markham. Her selections include Beethoven's Violin Sonata No 5, a song from Guys and Dolls and the love duet from Handel's Rodelinda.

Michael Berkeley's guest is the actor Kika Markham, widow of Corin Redgrave.

'Actors by their nature are curious, fickle, insecure people: flirts. They should not live together.' So says Kika Markham; but she didn't follow her own advice; instead she fell in love with the actor Corin Redgrave - they were together for 33 years until his death in 2010.

Kika's own career began in the 1960s; she made her name in a series of television films, directed by Ken Loach, Dennis Potter, and then, for the cinema, by Francois Truffaut. Now in her early seventies, Kika Markham is still on television, playing the mother of Mr Selfridge in the successful ITV period drama.

In 'Private Passions' she talks to Michael Berkeley about the central role of music in her life. She remembers working with Francois Truffaut, and falling in love with him - against all advice. She chooses music by the French composer who wrote soundtracks for many of Truffaut's films, Georges Delerue.

But it's her marriage to Corin Redgrave that forms the heart of the programme. She talks movingly about living with Corin during the final years of his life, after he suffered a brain injury and lost a great deal of memory. There were huge challenges for them both. And one of the losses, at first, was music - he could not bear to listen. But there came a moment when Kika sat at the piano, and Corin responded to her playing.

Her choices include Beethoven's 'Spring' Violin Sonata, in which she used to accompany her father, the actor David Markham; a song from 'Guys and Dolls'; and the love duet from Handel's 'Rodelinda'.

Producer: Elizabeth Burke

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3.

To hear previous episodes of Private Passions, please visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/r3pp/all.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 24 May 2015 12:00

Clip

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Violin Sonata in F major, Op.24 (Spring)

    Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy. Performer: Itzhak Perlman.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Violin Sonata in F major, Op.24 (Spring)

    Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy. Performer: Itzhak Perlman.
  • Georges Delerue

    Anne et Claude (Two English Girls)

    Orchestra: London Sinfonietta. Conductor: Hugh Wolff.
  • Georges Delerue

    Anne et Claude (Two English Girls)

    Orchestra: London Sinfonietta. Conductor: Hugh Wolff.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Io t'abraccio (Rodelinda)

    Orchestra: Raglan Baroque Players. Singer: Daniel Taylor. Singer: Sophie Daneman. Conductor: Nicholas Kraemer.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Io t'abraccio (Rodelinda)

    Orchestra: Raglan Baroque Players. Singer: Daniel Taylor. Singer: Sophie Daneman. Conductor: Nicholas Kraemer.
  • Frank Loesser

    My time of day.... I've never been in love before (Guys and Dolls)

    Singer: Julie Covington. Singer: Ian Charleson.
  • Frank Loesser

    My time of day.... I've never been in love before (Guys and Dolls)

    Singer: Julie Covington. Singer: Ian Charleson.
  • Robin Philips

    Finsbury Park, on that day

    Narrator: Jehane Markham.
  • Robin Philips

    Finsbury Park, on that day

    Narrator: Jehane Markham.
  • George Gershwin

    I Got Rhythm

    Performer: Charlie Parker.
  • George Gershwin

    I Got Rhythm

    Performer: Charlie Parker.

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