Saturday, February 19, 2011

John Freeman is 96 today

John Freeman, the last surviving member of the House of Commons elected at the 1945 general election, celebrated his 96th birthday today.

Ephraim Hardcastle in the Daily Mail provides a summary of his remarkable career:
He was elected to Parliament as a Labour MP in 1945 after wartime service as a Rifle Brigade major.

Edited the New Statesman when it was an influential political magazine.

Conducted the BBC’s famous, 1959 ‘Face to Face’ TV interviews, now available on DVD.

Became British High Commissioner to India and later HM’s ambassador to Washington.

Then in 1971 chairman of London Weekend TV until his retirement in 1984. After which he spent five years as Visiting Professor on International Relations at the University of California, Davis.
By coincidence, extracts from his Face to Face interview with Tony Hancock were shown in BBC Two's biography of the comedian this evening. I cannot find it on the BBC site yet, but there is a radio programme all about those interviews.


david Walsh said...

I think he is the only surviving MP from the 1945 - 50 government

Jonathan Calder said...

As I say in the post, he is the last surviving member of the 1945 House of Commons from any party.