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Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown

For the 3,000th programme, former Royal Navy test pilot Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown is interviewed by Kirsty Young.

Kirsty Young's guest is former Royal Navy test pilot Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown - the programme's 3000th edition.

The Fleet Air Arm's most decorated pilot, his life reads like a handbook in beating the odds.

Landing on a flight deck is acknowledged as one of the most difficult things a pilot can do. Eric Brown has held the world record for the most flight deck landings - 2,407 - for over 65 years. He was one of only two men on his ship, HMS Audacity, to survive a German U-boat bombing.

In a long and remarkable life he has witnessed first-hand momentous events in world history, from the Berlin Olympics in 1936 to the liberation of the Belsen concentration camp.

Flying, he believes, is in his blood. He originally climbed into the open cockpit of a Gloster Gauntlet as a child to sit on his father's knee. Thirty years later he would pilot Britain's first ever supersonic flight.

He says: "It's an exhilarating world to live in. There's always that aura of risk - you come to value life in a slightly different way."

Producer: Paula McGinley.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Christmas Day 2014 15:15

Music Played

  • Glenn Miller Orchestra, Pat Friday & Ray Eberle

    At Last

    • Glenn Miller in Hollywood.
    • MERCURY.
  • The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

    Amazing Grace

    • The Best Scottish Album in the World….Ever!.
    • VIRGIN.

    • Artie Shaw and His Orchestra

      Star Dust

      • Begin the Beguine.
      • RCA.
  • H. M. Royal Marines Band


    • Fleet Review.
  • Kiri Te Kanawa

    Ave Maria

    • The Essential Kiri.
    • DECCA.
  • Andy Williams

    Call Me Irresponsible

    • Call Me Irresponsible and Other Hit Songs From The Movies.
    • Columbia ?.
  • Glenn Miller Orchestra, Pat Friday, Ray Eberle & The Modernaires

    Serenade In Blue

    • Glenn Miller In Hollywood.
    • MERCURY.
  • Rod Stewart


    • Rod Stewart - Greatest Hits.
  • Book Choice

    • The Moonlandings by Reginald Turnill

  • Luxury Item

    • His 12 flight log books


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Producer Rebecca Stratford


  • Fri 14 Nov 2014 09:00
  • Christmas Day 2014 15:15

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