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Hermione Gingold

The sharp-tongued, eccentric star of stage and film answers the questions in the BBC Home Service's interview series. From December 1960.

The sharp-tongued, eccentric star of stage and film, Hermione Gingold discusses her career with renowned journalist John Freeman and theatre critic Philip Hope-Wallace.

Aged 63 when interviewed, the English-born actress was by then based in the USA and had been living in New York for five years.

Hermione Gingold was born in 1897 and died in 1987.

Launched in 1952 on the BBC Home Service, Frankly Speaking was a novel, ground breaking series. Unrehearsed and unscripted, the traditional interviewee/interviewer pairing was initially jettisoned for three interviewers firing direct questions. Early critics described it as 'unkempt', 'an inquisition' and described the guest as prey being cornered, quarry being pursued - with calls to axe the unscripted interview. But the format won out and eventually won over its detractors.

Unknown or very inexperienced broadcasters were employed as interviewers, notably John Betjeman, Malcolm Muggeridge and Penelope Mortimer. Only 40 or so of the original 100 programmes survive.

First broadcast on the BBC Home Service in 1960.

17 days left to listen

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 8 Sep 2019 02:15

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