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tv   Talking Books Cookery Specials  BBC News  October 9, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST

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in a huge show of support for the unity of spain and against plans for the independence of catalonia. spain's worst political crisis for decades was sparked by a referendum on independence for the wealthy north—eastern region. the oscar—winning film producer harvey weinstein has been sacked from the business he founded with immediate effect. the weinstein company said the decision was taken in light of new information about misconduct. us media had reported he'd reached settlements over claims of sexual harassment. the us vice—president has walked out of an american football match after some players knelt during the national anthem. mike pence said he left the game in indiana — between the colts and the san francisco forty—niners — because he would not dignify any event which showed such disrespect. the snp leader nicola sturgeon says she won't think about the timescale for another scottish independence referendum until the brexit deal becomes clear.
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she had previously talked about holding a second vote as early as next autumn. and, as the party gathers in glasgow for its annual conference, some believe its focus should shift to a second referendum on brexit. our political correspondent iain watson reports. the political weather has been changing in scotland's largest city in recent years. once a labour stronghold, the council is now run by the snp. and the majority of voters in glasgow backed independence in 2014. earlier this year, nicola sturgeon suggested there could be another independence vote as early as next autumn, but in this city this morning, her timescale sounded far more flexible. there are many people i think in scotland who desperately want to see scotland become independent. there are others who are not convinced and who'll never be convinced and there are others who perhapsjust think we need a bit of dust to settle on brexit. so what's changed 7 well, there's the small matter of a general election where the snp lost one—third of the seats at westminster and now this conference, an snp
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conference remember, independence isn't even formally on the agenda and privately, some of the most senior figures in the party are saying, "don't expect to see a second independence referendum before the next scottish parliament elections in 2021." and here's perhaps the reason why the snp leadership are reflecting on the timescale for independence. is it odd that independence doesn't feature as a formal item on the agenda for this conference? well, you know, we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. this is the party of independence. of course we have the brexit bill coming back to parliament. we need to make sure we are arguing for our national interest in that which is about staying in the single market. so the snp say their immediate priority at westminster will be to work with others to oppose conservative legislation on leaving the eu, but some semoir party figures are saying privately that they should go further, that the referendum they should be arguing for isn't won on independence but on brexit. and that seems to reflect the view of pro—independence
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voters here in glasgow. no, i think she should just hold her horses and kind of wait. i wanted independence. i wanted to stay in the eu. however, i think the people of scotland have kind of spoken. this autumn, expect the snp to continue to put clear blue water between them and the government on brexit, but also expect to see far less focus on a second scottish independence referendum. iain watson, bbc news, glasgow. the time is 2:33am. now on bbc news...talking books. hello and welcome to talking books: cookery special. we're here in cannes, in the south of france, one of those great cities where the food is exquisite and the wine's superb. we're here to talk to a michelin starred chef, angela hartnett, whose cookery roots and cookery books are based on her italian and welsh families.
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angela hartnett, welcome. now, working with gordon ramsay at the start of your career, that must have been... i'm trying to think of the right word... testing, challenging, was it? they're both very good words for it. yeah, i mean it was, it was certainly a challenge. i think because i went into it very naive, i'd come from a lovely little restaurant in cambridge, where we started at nine in the morning, very civilised, we had a nice two hour break in the afternoon and then generally we we were home before the pubs closed, you know, it was very nice. then came to london, where we were starting at seven in the morning, a break if we were lucky, we got half an hour in the afternoon — if we were lucky — and then finishing never before midnight, you know, six days a week. it was gruelling, is another word for it!
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laughter. gruelling! were you conscious that this was sink or swim? yeah. you'd gone into the big league and if you didn't make it, he was going to be quite tough? and get rid of you? 0h, totally. 0h totally, i think it was sink or swim. i saw chefs that would come in and they'd... this is terrible, and ifeel embarrassed to admit it, we would sort of have mini bets between us afterwards, how long did we think they were going to last? because it was very tough and very tiring and the worst thing any chef came into the kitchen ever said was, "oh yeah, i've done fish and meat, i know how to do pastry"... you thought, you might know your way but you don't know gordon's way and they're very different! i did make it. i did a year and i was very happy to do a year, but that was as much as i wanted to do, in that particular kitchen. and just in terms of that, do you see when somebody comes into your kitchen now, this person's probably going to make it, this person's probably not going to make it, i don't know, do you have a kind of mental bet? i think you do, i think how people come in and how
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they work straight away, and that's the idea, they come in and spend the day there. you see there are some chefs that willjust stand around and watch and don't want to get involved, but anyone who is constantly saying to me, what can i do next, chef? how do i do that? then you think, they've got enthusiasm, they got drive, they want to learn. i'll take anyone that's green, i don't want the best qualified chefs, i want people that you can manipulate and manage and train to your sort of techniques, rather than someone who thinks that thinks they've done it all before. your first book was cucina, which is obviously italian, your italian background, tell us a bit about that. so i'm a second, third generation italian. my grandparents emigrated post first world war, went over to wales and a very traditional immigrant story, if you like, from the irish to the jamaicans to the italians. one person from the family came over and i think it was my cousin, my grandmother's brother, who then brought my grandmother over. she was married, so she came with her husband. he brought his two brothers over, and literally you had a whole village come from this tiny village called bardi, near parma, go to southern wales,
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to the rhondda valley. and if you go, even now, there's still lots of fish and chip shops and cafes with carpenini, margaritelli, ra baiotti — all these italian names, because it was that part of italy that went there. the next valley along, piacenza, a lot of them all came to london, then another valley all went to scotland, but they all came from a country that was decimated after the first world war and saw england somewhere they could make money, they could get a living and then obviously stayed there through the second world war. my father, my grandfather at the time, was interned at the isle of wight, because he was seen at the time as an illegal alien, because he was italian, and, of course, one minute mussolini was with us and the next minute he was against us. so they were caught between a rock and a hard place. how do you bring such a sophisticated, interesting cuisine from italy, despite all the problems after the second world war, to the welsh valleys, which is also not the richest part of britain? no, no, no. well that, the question in a way answers itself, because they didn't. we owned fish and chip shops. it was fish and chip shops, ice cream parlours and cafes. and ironically, when i look back,
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i look at my relatives and think, why did none of you open an italian restaurant? but i think they had the foresight to realise that where were they going to get olive oilfrom, parmesan, all the ingredients that you need to make semi—decent italian food? they weren't going to get that in the rhondda valley in wales in the 1950s. it took till the ‘60s, when you started seeing all that italian sort of infiltration in soho and the london clubs, that then italian food started to come into the english psyche, in a way. in the ‘aos and ‘50s it was all fish and chip shops, cafes, ice creams. why didn't the italian cuisine in your family that you reflect in books, why didn't thatjust die out then? why isn't it all fish and chips? well i think because at home they did cook all the time. my grandmother, we grew up cooking pasta all the time, it was commonplace. and making it, too? and making it. she made bread. i remember... because also it's very regional, italian food. show she wasn't cooking spaghetti
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alle vongole or things we now associate with the river cafe and very quintessentially italian or she wasn't making baccala from veneto, she was making her cooking from emilia—romagna. so we were having torta di patate, which is a potato cake, we had spinach tart, we had tortelli di zucca and then spinach ricotta. we had that all the time. her repertoire didn't change very much, but it was with brilliant, and that's what i grew up on. did that... when you grew up on that, did you think this is what i want to do as a job, rather than to do something in the home? did you really see that, and then to write about it? i always thought i liked the idea of running a business and i liked the idea of running a restaurant. i was clueless to what it entailed, i had no idea. so on a friday night, i would go and do the chips. i liked the idea of this. as a kid, you saw all this cash going into this machine and you think, this can't be bad! they used to close it every august to go on holiday, and i thought,
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that's another benefit for owning your own business, you close when you want and all the rest of it. i thought i was good at it, i was good at cooking. i never thought i'd go into fish and chips, but i thought i could run a restaurant, never imagining how cooking would be now, these days, how chefs would be seen these days, how it's exploded. ijust thought i'd run a little restaurant. and in terms of writing cucina, that kind of background informs basically every page. yeah. ijust wonder, how did you write it? did you write it later, or did you write a bit in the kitchen, did you take notes in the kitchen, how did you go about it? i think you write... i suppose you're writing all the time, in a sense, when you're doing recipes. we'll be in the kitchen even now when we do recipes and i constantly have a bag full of bits of paper, with things like tweak that recipe or change, add onions to that, tweak the spices down in that, so you do that all the time when you're practising. i think when we wrote cucina it was very much, i suppose...
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not autobiographical, that's a bit silly to say that, but it was about how i grew up as a child. our family weren't a family that went and had massive 21st birthday parties and things like that, but we always sat down christmas, easter, anyone‘s main birthday, as a family of 20 or 30 people and ate. we'd sit there for five or six hours, which in those days, my friends just couldn't get their heads round that. we never watched tv, we never had a tray on our lap, it was really, food was a huge part of our social aspect of being part of a family. just to pick that up, this was not a rich family? no, no. this was a family where if you had money, you would spend it on food rather than better clothes or a tv set or whatever? exactly, no, of course. my grand mother, they were farmers, they were peasant farmers. they made their money, she made it so she could afford to send her kids to a decent school and she could buy a house eventually and all the rest of it, but that was through years and years and years of hard graft.
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and also they never wasted anything. i would go in my grand mother's farage and she would not throw anything out. so there was constantly little saucers or bowls with another saucer on top covering something. nothing was thrown out. that was recycling in those days. exactly, the criminality of food waste these days, you know, it's shameful, really. you touched on the fact that italy, there's not an italian cuisine, there's all kinds of italian cuisine is. bardi, i looked up, i knew it was in emilia—romagna, it's quite parma, isn't it? yes. what is the essence of the cuisine there that that would be different from, say, further north of further south? well essentially it's influence by its climate. it's in the mountains, bardi, so there's no ocean near it, no sea, so there'd be no seafood, no fish, nothing. it's everything that would be grown from the land. it is a huge mushroom area, so all the dried porcini, you see a lot of that in the influence, maybe the odd truffle, although it's not truffle region necessarily, and that obviously you're right
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near parma for parmigiano cheese, prosciutto di parma, prosciutto cotto... very much a pork area. in typical italian fashion, we were up in the hills, so many more vegetables and much less dairy. as you go nearer to the city, something as simple as a ricotta and spinach tortelli, as you went nearer to the city, much more ricotta in there, more butter, more parmesan. as you go into the hills, more spinach, more swiss chard, because they couldn't afford it, and that's how the sort of the cuisine of that area, and many areas of italy, they really are. in the south, they don't put eggs in the pasta, whereas in the north they do, much richer, they can afford it. in the south, much hotter as well, so it's all vegetables, all olive oil. totally climate based as well. when you were constructing the book, it's obvious the photographs, the pictures are very important, including photographs of your family actually. yeah, sure. but how big a deal is that for actually publishing a book? because when people are thinking of buying it for christmas
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or whenever, it's the photographs that probably first get them, isn't it? you're right, the public these days want to see lovely, beautiful photography, so you do have to make sure those sorts of books look good. even on the cover, they went to a market and bought this antique linen tablecloth and then had it embroidered with all these italian words from the kitchen from pomodoro to cucina to tortelli, all around the edge, and gave that to me as a present. i mean, i still have this beautiful tablecloth at home. i think the attention to detail, and i thought they were really brave, because again, the other thing these days with cookery books, they want the chef on the front cover, because that's sells it. people have been on tv and they've seen them, but they thought, we're not going to do that, we're going to make it about the food, and i thought that's what it is, it's about the food. let me ask you about that, this might sound like a really daft question, but how important are the recipes themselves? because i know so many people who give or receive cookery books... yeah. and they love them and they read
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them, but they don't actually cook very much from them, from the recipes. yeah, yeah. i think if i'm honest, hand on heart, i probably cook from about seven or eight recipe books but probably have about 500 recipe books. there's a lot of voyeurism. we all like the books, they all look beautiful, we might read them, but do we actually cook from them? i think for me, if i say to anyone have a recipe book, i think read the recipe and use it as a guide. it's not there to tell you everything, but you can put your little twist on the recipe. i think it's great to sort of see, actually i can adapt that, i can change that, and that's how i think recipes should be used. of you yourself, you've got all these recipe books, but i get the impression, tell me if i'm wrong, that you kind of cook a bit by instinct. this goes with this and maybe this is worth trying and literally that didn't work? yeah, yeah. then we use all the veal trim to make a nice little light veal sauce. i always say there's two types of cooks, instinct cooks who throw it all in the pan and get great results and just know what works, and then there's ones i always say, bless my little sister, that cook by numbers and followed it
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exactly to the hilt. not a gram either side. different cooks, as long as you get a good end result, it doesn't matter, but certainly i'll look at a recipe and go, i'll try like that and then maybe tweak it slightly. for tonight we've got a lovely tomato agnolotti, a pasta dish and some little ricotta salata on top and a bit of basil. then we are doing a veal rack with a parmesan cream, a touch of spinach and a few little mushroom girolles. so very simple, nothing overcomplicated. have you had disasters? 0h, all the time. i had a disaster on national tv — more than once. i was doing a sweet pastry tart and i went to line it and as i picked up, the whole tart collapsed. and it was live, and then i sort of put it all together, re—rolled it and all the rest of it, but so many people came up to me afterwards and said how brilliant that was. 0ne, they loved the fact that someone professional had messed up, but what they loved was the fact i showed them how to rectify it, because that's the thing. people make mistakes all the time
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but they don't know how to say, actually it's going to be fine, just do this or do that. it all seems to be coming together. what are the challenges of this? i know most hobby cooks or hobby chefs will say this is the daunting bit. yeah. i think one, not overcooking the meat, but the key is resting it. cooking it enough and then allowing it to rest long enough so that all the juices relax, all the fibres relax. i think that's what people become obsessed about. they think they don't want to allow it to rest because they think it's going to go cold. but a big piece of meat like that is going to carry the heat for a long time and out in 90 degrees heat, we don't need to worry about that! what do you think the books and tv programmes come in, in the wider culture? i have in my mind someone‘s watching you on television cooking something fantastic and sitting at home eating pizza. laughter. that's been delivered! probably true. thanks! but it obviously does happen, doesn't it? 0r reading the book and saying, that's great, and getting somebody to deliver a takeaway. no, i think we all guilty of that.
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i think people do watch the tv and they aspire to it maybe but don't actually do it, through many reasons, money sometimes... do you have a kind of mission with what you do? in the sense thatjamie 0liver in britain tried to improve school meals, for example, very worthy cause, a lot of people got behind that. other people want to just change our culture, to create a kind of food culture. is that where you fit in, do you think? i think, i think someone said at the other day actually, if i can, when i retire, feel i've left the industry in a better place than when i got into it, then i'll feel quite happy. because when i got into catering it was hideous hours, really underpaid, totally... you were living in fear that you were going to be shouted at. nobody looked at it as a career, everyone just thought anyone going into cooking was just nuts, but now it is seen as a career, it's seen as a profession. if we had a bad image of being a chef 20 years ago, say, do we also have a kind of distorted
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image now, which is basically you're all celebrities, you've all got your great yachts here in cannes? yeah, mine is over there! you're living the high life, when actually it is still really hard work and you have to be a bit of a control freak? no, i think you're totally right. i think, one, nothing annoys me more than when i see a young cook and they go, "i just want to open a restaurant, i just want to be on tv", and ijust say, you haven't got a clue. because also these days, you've got to make money. and actually it's a very simple sort of thing. if you look at 100%, you say 25% to all your suppliers, 25% to your staff, 25% for your landlord, your rates etc, and then you come away with 25 profit. that very crude and rudimentary, but it does work. it's not a huge winner of money, the restaurant business, but if you keep all your margins tight, you can make money. do you cook for yourself? cooking for yourself is a very different thing,
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can you be bothered? yeah, we can, actually. we have a little garden at home. i live with my boyfriend, he's a good cook. my sister lives there and we've got a lodger, we've got a nice house and a little garden. we do. only once or twice a week, and it's normally sunday. interestingly enough, we're going to try and write a book about that, because we have a great neighbourhood, loads of fun neighbours, so we always on a sunday... we've had different parties over the years, we call it a freezer party, where i basically open the freezer and bring everything out and use it up and then round and say, whose free? i've got a freezer i'm decluttering and i'm going to put everything in the freezer. and the other thing is we do sunday suppers. we do just genuinely have people over a lot of the time, and i like it, i enjoy it. it's relaxed, it's at your speed, there's no pressure of orders, you're cooking what you want cook and it's great. we'll do up to 12, 12 or 14, and i think that's a great number. and i like cooking, but what i tend to do is big one bowl
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food or one pot wonders, so it's all on the table and people help themselves. i'm certainly not plating up 12 individual plates or anything like that, that's ridiculous. everything that is what i call family style, and i like the fact that people share and has food around and have you tried a bit of this and that? how important in your books are the recipes, and how important are the tips? that's what struck me, actually. i might not remember whether it was 100 grams of this or that, but there's a couple of things. one simple one that i loved, you on soup — "when you have the first spoonfuls you should taste the real flavour of the predominant ingredient". yeah. "tomato soup should taste of tomatoes". yeah. i know it's obvious, but that's the kind of tip that i think sticks in the head, where a recipe might not. and i think that's the thing. i don't want to make recipes so complicated where people are so fearful of them and put off by them, but also you do want to share your skills. i'm not necessarily the best pastry chef, but you can go and buy good ready—made puff pastry or made sweet
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pastry, so you don't have to do that bit, and then still make a great dessert from it. i think there's nothing shameful in saying, some great tinned tomatoes will make a better tomato sauce than any fresh ones well, unless you're permanently living in cannes. i think a little bit of honesty is a good thing. some of the statistics, in britain at least, very few families or fewer than you think, sit round to have dinner together even once or twice a week, theyjust don't do it. yeah, i think that's really sad, actually. i think that's one of the best things about being in a family. it's always where we have half our fun. i can still look back and remember great christmases, especially christmases, where this iolb turkey set on the table and my mother sat there and went, "that was the size of you, ann, when you were born", to my poor sister in front of 30 people! laughter. fortunately then my nephew billy was born and now billy's the turkey, because he was iolb.
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how do you fit it all in? you must be very disciplined in the kitchen? are you disciplined injust about everything too? oh god, i'm so undisciplined! if you open my bag, it's just carnage. i'm disciplined in that i want everything to be right in the kitchen, but you prioritise, don't you? i think you can't do everything. most of the restaurants look after themselves, i cook at murano, and lime wood, the others look after themselves, and the stuff i want to fit in, you make time for, you make your choice, you can't do everything. are you working on another book now? we'd like to sort of look at this book around what we do, sunday suppers or something, and literally around all the suppers we've done in a year. have you taken notes for it at all? we have to, because interestingly enough one of my neighbours, rodney, who passed away a few years back, said at the time when he'd been round, he said you should write down what you've been making, even if you can't remember everything, but who you invited, what the dish was. so we have started doing that over the last couple of years. what is great is
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january to december. last november we had a load of people round, we did this great truffle lunch, which was at the high—end of what we do. another time we mightjust have a little bit of chicken schnitzel and a bit of rocket salad, so it is a bit of everything. what about the comments? the comments, yes. well... exactly what you said. my neighbour, we were talking about it, she said put the tips in, people like the tips. she goes we all like the recipes, but what we want to know are the short cuts of how to get there or if something goes wrong what we need to do. that's what really will sell the ideas. in terms of the creative act, is that something... i don't know, do you ponder when you go for a walk, i know, wouldn't it be amazing if i did this? or are you walking around some wonderful gardens and think, the olive trees, maybe there's something i can do...? is that how it works, or are you actually in the kitchen doing things hands on? i think it's a bit of everything, actually. you might go to the markets and see something and think, crikey, that's in season, i'd forgotten about that,
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let's tweak that. the the other day i realised apricots are in and fresh almonds, so i e—mailed the restaurant and said change that garnish, let's put the lovely fresh almonds on with the apricots with this delicious pork. you know, very much in seasons. you might go to a restaurant and suddenly see something and think, that looks delicious, let's tweak that idea. i think it's all the time. you'll eat something tonight and think, actually i haven't done that in a while. much of it comes from what you've done before, but it's always trying to keep ahead and trying to keep new, i think. and a final word on books. if you said to people around the world 20 or 30 years ago british cookbooks, they would laugh, wouldn't they? chuckles. as you'vejust done! they don't laugh any more, do they? no, they don't. i think britain now is considered, certainly london, and most of the uk, one of the food countries of the world. you know, alongside france, italy, spain, i'd say. pockets of america, japan i think, and tokyo especially, to me, is a huge food capital.
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but no one would have predicted where the london food scene... and i think tv‘s as much of that as anything. i think tv‘s changed it. i think travel‘s changed it, the fact that people travels frequently and so cheaply now. people know what good food is, so they expect it now when they come to the uk, and i'm glad we can deliverfinally! chuckles. angela hartnett, thanks very much. thanks very much, gavin. monday will start on a wet now for scotla nd monday will start on a wet now for scotland and to the south—west of england. not a cold start thanks to
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the cloud which will help to keep temperatures up that provides a lead and start to the day for many parts of the british isles. the rain will eventually clear from scotland, the dank and drizzly conditions in the south—west will improve into the afternoon and there will be bright skies for scotland and northern england, parts of wales and parts of east anglia. northern ireland, after a rough start the cloud and rain was building towards teatime and early evening and then becomes extensive across the northern half of britain. this is an active weather front slumping down towards the southern half of england and wales during tuesday. maybe the odd spot of rain with bright skies following behind helping again to get the temperatures into the teens before we get more wet and windy weather or returning to the north—west to finish the day. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm duncan golestani. our top stories: us vice president mike pence walks out of an american football game
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after some players refuse to stand for the national anthem. 0scar—winning film producer — harvey weinstein — is sacked following new information about alleged misconduct. a call for spanish unity — hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets of barcelona, opposing an independent catalonia. and, a breakthrough for treating breast cancer — the gene test that could reduce the need for surgery.
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