Esther Rantzen

Esther Rantzen
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Esther Rantzen
Esther Rantzen

Interview with Esther Rantzen: Transcript of Sample Clip

Esther Rantzen: When I joined Radio as a studio manager making sound effects, playing gramophone records, both for music and effects,. It was just after the great days of B.B.C. Radio, which I imagine would have been in the Fifties; the 'Under Milk Wood' generation, the Louis MacNeish generation. It was just coming to the end so a few of those producers were sitting around propping up a bar of the George or in a club - what is now the Langham Hilton with a slightly grubby BBC club - and they have a great feeling of pride. Both in radio and as against the Johnny come lately upstart commoners Mark television and I learned as soon as I started to work in broadcasting house that there were two kinds of people there were the ehm broadcasters who are radio people and they were the riff raff who were the television people and people almost lowered their voices when they talked about studio managers who'd gone on to television. But one of them was a lovely guy Colin Charman who worked in light entertainment in television and he let me stand in a gallery. I'll never forget it and watch Steptoe and Son and Duncan Wood directing steptoe and son  and that's when I saw that every shot was composed like a Vermeer picture with with architecturally and with foreground background and I suddenly saw the team of people and all the skills working together and I think I was also. Biddy Baxter was the next studio  manager in radio and she was then editor of Blue Peter and she let me go into the gallery of Blue Peter and I watched. The I can't quite remember who was presenting but whoever it was they were making ice cream sugar snowmen. Musta been Christmas time which melted slowly under the lights and they really did say. Here's one I prepared earlier and went got a nice frozen jaunty snow  out the service? and I came back with my head whirling and I thought well it may not be the fashionable thing to say in radio but that's a world I would love to be part of.

Interviewer: So you became a Researcher.

Esther Rantzen: Yes I actually I became I had to it was quite difficult I had to I resigned from the radio because I am I was made to make the sound of a falling body and I did so the only way it was by falling over so I fell over several times until the producer Betty Davis decided I was making the right thud by which time I was considerably bruised. So I limped up and resigned in triplicate. My boss said I need only resigned once but they are always slightly melodramatic so I resigned and then spent six months on the dole which I've never forgotten it was soul destroying horrible.