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Michael Charlton
Michael Charlton interviewing French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing for BBC Television's Panorama programme
Veteran writer and broadcaster Michael Charlton made his name interviewing politicians - and in two series of Allegories for the Present Day on The Westminster Hour he remembers some of the world figures he came face-to-face with. There are memories of interviewees as varied as a British Prime Minister, a Soviet dissident and a Nazi politician close to Hitler. What lessons can we draw from the past?

Our archive includes all seven talks from these series, first broadcast as The Sunday Supplement on The Westminster Hour.

Michael Charlton's talks include ones about two Prime Ministers, a long-surviving member of the Nazi leadership and two world-famous Soviet dissidents.

Clement Attlee was the leader who ousted Churchill from Downing Street at the end of World War 2.

Click here to listen to Charlton on Attlee

Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India, after independence from Britain in 1948.

Click here to listen to Charlton on Nehru

Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Alexander Solzhenitsyn is a world-famous author, Nobel prize-winner and Soviet dissident.

Click here to listen to Charlton on Solzhenitsyn

Adolf Hitler at a wartime meeting
Albert Speer was Hitler's court architect, a wartime minister and close adviser to the Nazi dictator.

Click here to listen to Charlton on Speer

Andrei Sakharov
Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet nuclear physicist, won the Nobel Peace Prize after turning against communism.

Click here to listen to Charlton on Sakharov

Franz Koenig was Roman Catholic Cardinal of Vienna and one of the church's leading figures at the height of the Cold War.

Click here to listen to Charlton on Koenig

Ismet Inonu, as President of Turkey, helped transform his country into a secular, westernised, state.

Click here to listen to Charlton on Inonu


Michael Charlton

Michael Charlton was born in Sydney in 1927 and worked first in Australian radio and television - not just as the presenter of ABC's main current affairs TV programme, but also as a commentator on test cricket.

In 1962 he came to Britain to work with Robin Day, Ludovic Kennedy and Robert Kee on the BBC's Panorama programme for 14 years. In the eighties he launched a pioneering series of worldwide phone-ins on the BBC World Service, called It's Your World in which heads of state and government answered questions live from listeners around the world.

Michael Charlton is also a prolific author. His books include The Price of Victory, a history of British diplomacy, and Many Reasons Why: The American involvement in Vietnam. He has also been a contributor to magazines and newspapers.


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Charlton on Solzhenitsyn

Charlton on Speer

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