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tv   Meet the Author  BBC News  August 18, 2017 7:45pm-8:01pm BST

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time and he was a real people person, to pardon the cliche, use all the way he worked with the co ntesta nts all the way he worked with the contestants on the generation game, he made them feel special, or when they played play your cards right, he treated them the same as a list celebrities on strip began dancing, he was somebody who clearly loved working with people and knew how to get the best out of them and knew how to make everybody laugh and welcome everybody in, and that includes all of us sitting watching at home. he was so good at what he did. lord grade said he grew up with lord —— bruce forsyth there. the number of people paying tribute shows how many people respected him. it shows how he was respected by people in the industry and genuinely loved by people in the industry. the show business industry has people from all across the spectrum from the very nicest to some who might not be quite at that position but sir bruce was one of those people
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who everybody loved working with, and they loved seeing what he did on television. they loved meeting him asa television. they loved meeting him as a person. i think when you look at all the people that have been paying tribute to him, because there is probably not a television presenter working today that hasn't in some way been influenced in watching him at a formative age and how he worked with audiences, whatever they are doing in television now. i interviewed him a few times. he was always utterly charming, always on the ball, always warm always friendly. i remember seeing him at the bbc studios over at television centre in shepherd's bush. he was coming out of a rehearsal or a meeting in the fourier and there was a crowd of members of the public having a tour and they didn't actually spot him and they didn't actually spot him and as the tour guide was busy speaking to him he popped up the back with a joke, he doesn't know what he's talking about, you want the tour? i will do it for you. it wasn't something he needed to do, they haven't seen him, he's been in show business for more than half a century at that point, he is a busy
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man, who must always have people coming up to him but he took the time outjust for 30 seconds that he didn't need to to basically make a group of members of the public, he made their day, i'm sure they still talk about it to this day. it's something he didn't need to do but he wanted to make them laugh, it wa nted he wanted to make them laugh, it wanted to make them smile, and you can see the impression he must‘ve made on them, theyjust came from a two and one of the biggest stars from british television pops up to give them a laugh. lies is in the, thank you. you're watching bbc news. the headlines: tributes are paid to be vetera n headlines: tributes are paid to be veteran entertainer sir bruce forsyth who has died at the age of 89. police believe the terror network behind the atrocities in spain may have been planning a much bigger attack. in the us president trump's chief strategist steve bannon has left his position at the white house. an update on the market numbers, here is how london and frankfurt ended the day, and in the us the dow
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jones you're and the nasdaq, this is how they are getting on. now it's time for meet the author. readers of alanjudd's spy stories first met charles thoroughgood when he was in the army, then when he was a trainee in the secret service, but now a few years on, he's become chief of mi6. he's top dog, but whitehall doesn't work quite like that. in deep blue, thoroughgood spends almost as much time fighting the bureaucracy around him and his rivals as the people who are trying to steal something important and dangerous. welcome. it might be thought by some people that when you reach the top of the tree in the secret world, you know everything, you're in charge.
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but in this book, charles, your hero, discovers that many of the battles he's fighting aren't with the other side or some terrorist group or something, but with people around him. yes. i think that's not peculiar to the secret world either. i think most organisations, maybe even the bbc, you might find you devote a lot of your energies to internecine warfare, or to problems within the organisation which stop you doing what it's there to do. so that is part of charles' dilemma and i think it's in a way easier to write a spy novel if you have things going on on the home front than if you're just fighting, as it were, the war abroad. and that's life particularly in that kind of world because there's so much you can't say, even to fairly close colleagues. i mean that might also be true in the bbc, who knows? i couldn't possibly comment, but that is the way that it works, isn't it? yes, there's a necessary compartmentalisation. of people in secret organisations tend not to talk about their secrets
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people in secret organisations tend not to talk about their secrets to other people in the organisation who have different secrets. one of the things about deep blue, and i'm not going to go into the plot because it would ruin it for anyone who hasn't read the book. one of the things about it is that there's a kind of old—fashioned quality to it in a sense that the crises, the threats, the panic doesn't really change with the ages. i mean, there might be different technology. you might be intercepting phone calls in a contemporary way that you couldn't have done before, but the fundamentals are exactly the same. they don't change. no, i think the fundamentals of spying don't change. it's often said to the second oldest profession and essentially, you're dealing with intelligence, with people telling other people secrets, or not telling them secrets, trying to stop them. and there are various ways in which the telling can happen. it can be technical, it can be person to person, or it could be whatever you like, but essentially, you're dealing with the same things.
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and, of course, what is not said is often as important as what is said. indeed. what makes charles thoroughgood, your central character, whom we met originally in legacy when he was training to be an officer in mi6, what makes him good at hisjob? why did he reach the top? well, i think he, erm, well i'm not always sure he is good at hisjob and it's a bit of an accident, he's reached the top. he never expected to and it was only because of treachery within the higher circles that he did. i think he's good at his job because he's determined to get to the truth of something. i think that's what marks him out and he's not too committed to it. he doesn't live only for that. he is, i hope, a human being. that's a very interesting observation. he's not too committed to it. do you mean that the people who are sometimes best at that kind of thing are people who despite perhaps moments of excitement, moments of, you know, important action, nonetheless keep it
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in perspective and make it only as part of their lives? i think the best people do because after all, you're dealing with human beings and if you're not much of a human being yourself, you don't understand other human beings very well. so you need that kind of perspective, or ought to have it anyway. i suspect that anyone reading this book or its predecessors who doesn't know anything about you and perhaps reads a biography that says, a biographical note that says, former soldier and diplomat, might suspect that you have some experience of labouring in the secret vineyards, and you have, haven't you? i've heard that, too. people have said that about me in print and to my face. it's quite interesting that you should raise it. and you've never denied it? i don't think so. in that case, let's talk about the people that you may have reason to know something about and how they behave because you've talked about thoroughgood not letting this dominate his life. why is that a good thing? well, i think you've got to have a life outside what you do,
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or you ought to have anyway. if your life is wholly in what you do, you become confined within it and especially if you're working in the secret world, which is, you know, cut off from most other parts of humanity, it's a good idea to have an idea of what the rest of humanity's doing and to see that you are actually only part of a bigger picture. you're not the whole picture. you say cut off from the rest of humanity, which of course is an interesting observation because it is inevitable, and we see this in your novel to the person of thoroughgood and his friends, that you are engaged inevitably in deceit. perhaps benign deceit of family and friends as well as, you know, the other side, whatever it may be at any particular moment. i think, yes. the question of deceit is really very interesting because in a way, you have to be honest. i think for many people in the intelligence professions, honesty is the most important quality and they need to be rigorously honest in their deceit. you deceive the people you should deceive for the right reasons.
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you don't deceive just promiscuously or for the wrong reasons, and you have to be very honest with yourself about who you're deceiving and why. promiscuous deceit must be a hazard of the trade though? i imagine it is. i mean, people learn techniques of deceit that could carry over elsewhere if they were dishonest. and perhaps enjoy it a little bit too much. that's a problem, too, isn't it? indeed. i think we all enjoy knowing a secret and it's a form of power and we also enjoy sharing a secret. so it is a hazard, yes. somebody once said to me, i think who's got reason to know about these things, that dealing in the secret world as thoroughgood does, having reached the top particularly, what you're dealing with in the end is the riddle of power. what you're dealing with is trying to work out why someone is doing something, how they're using the power they have and perhaps how to stop them.
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yes. i can see what is meant in that. if you apply it to the british system, the british intelligence agencies, for example, do not have a great deal of power in the british state, unlike many other countries where they're much more powerful. the british intelligence agencies essentially advise. they provide information and governments make the decision. so real power lies with whitehall governance, but of course within any organisation there are power structures and of course there's power play within that. why do you enjoy writing about this world ? you write about other things. you've been celebrated for a series of remarkable short novels, some of them almost novellas, and yet you return to this theme. what does it allow you to do as a writer that you enjoy? i think it allows for an element of humour, which i quite like injecting. i mean, not to make them very funny books, so you could do entirely
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humorous books about the secret world, but whenever people are trying to be secret, things go wrong. i mean if you arrange to a man with red hair, to meet a man with red hair, six foot seven in the nearest bar to the bbc here tonight at six o'clock, you'd go into that bar and there'd be four them. it's just the nature of things. that is the way life is. yes, so one can bring that out. all carrying the daily telegraph under their left arm. exactly, yes. yeah. yesterday's. what's next? thoroughgood's reached the top. does he survive at the top? can you tell us? well, i haven't decided because each of the thoroughgood spy novels was never written with a successor in mind, so i've always had to juggle what happens to him. i would never have made him chief early on if i thought i was going to go on writing them. and that, of course, is power by another name. yes. yeah, that is power by another name. alanjudd, author of deep blue out in paperback, thank you very much. thank you.
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good evening. we really have seen lots of showers today, some thunderstorms for good measure, this was the scene at edgbaston earlier today. i'm surprised we got as much play as we did. we look at what has been happening and you can see the showers and thunderstorms dancing around the midlands, heading eastwards on some brisk winds, another area of rain moving over the irish sea heading towards wales and across the midlands and eventually into the north sea, one or two thunderstorms in that as well. things calm down late in the night, some showers in the north—west particularly, but eventually the rain clears away from the north—east of scotla nd rain clears away from the north—east of scotland where it has been chilly. those numbers overnight, similarto chilly. those numbers overnight, similar to what we've seen over the last couple of nights. heading into the weekend we start with showers early on across the north west of scotla nd early on across the north west of scotland into the highlands, and
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possibly extending just to the north of glasgow. aberdeen, dundee and edinburgh to with sunshine and a few showers for northern ireland. running of the irish sea and into the north—western england and mid and north west and wales, the midlands, east anglia and much of southern england, dry. just the odd shower in the south—west. those will not amount to very much, and for many parts of southern england, the midlands and east anglia it will be dry, there will not be many showers. you we will see showers further north, the main focus across scotland, particularly heading into the afternoon as many of the other showers fade away. not as windy tomorrow but not particularly warm either, temperatures not farfrom what we have had today. the showers will get moved away by this bump of high—pressure, but we have low— pressure high—pressure, but we have low—pressure moving in from the atla ntic low—pressure moving in from the atlantic and pushing ahead some rain. some tropical air atlantic and pushing ahead some rain. some tropicalairas atlantic and pushing ahead some rain. some tropical air as well, this rain coming from what was left
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of hurricane gert. the rain may not amount to much, could be heavy across northern ireland but for many parts of the uk it could be a dry day with a decent end to the weekend and some sunshine. temperatures around i7—20d, but it could get warmer as we head into monday and perhaps tuesday across more southern and south—eastern parts of the uk. brief warmth and humid conditions which could trigger later on one or two thunderstorms. we still have rain on monday for northern ireland, perhaps pushing into western scotla nd perhaps pushing into western scotland and northern parts of england and wales with higher temperatures to the south. night, this is bbc news. the headlines at 8pm: night, adlines at 8pm: tributes have been paid to the legendary entertainer sir bruce forsyth, who has died at the age of 89. from strictly come dancing to the generation game, he was one of britain's best—loved stars. welcome to the generation game. nice to see you.
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he'd entertained millions of people in a career spanning over 7 decades — his friend jimmy tarbuck remembered his star appeal. he was, without doubt, a national treasure. he deserved his knighthood. police in spain believe a much bigger attack was being planned by those behind the terror atrocities in barcelona and cambrils, in which 14 people were killed. two people are dead and several others injured after a stabbing


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