A Very Private Celebrity

A Very Private Celebrity

13 October, 2015
Author: Hugh Purcell
Genre: Biography
Category: Heywood Hill Readers

Recommended by Heywood Hill Reader Peter Hennessy

A fascinating and well-sculpted treatment of a formidable but now largely forgotten figure of early postwar Britain. John Freeman's fame endures as the interviewer, seen only from behind, of BBC Television's Face to Face series which ran from 1959 to 1962 with a cast ranging from Bertrand Russell to Tony Hancock. Add to the sorrow of Hugh Purcell's life by acquiring and watcing the Face to Face DVD.

Freeman's career was of an extraordinary range - 'good war' in the Desert Rats; ministerial office under Attlee; BBC Panorama in its pioneering days; Editor of the New Statesman; High Commissioner to India; Ambassador to Washington; television company executive. Married three times. Intensely private. Ripe of rediscovery.

Peter Hennessy is Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary, University of London and an independent crossbench member of the House of Lords.