John Prescott MP went to sea as a waiter on Cunard Liners before entering Parliament. He recalls his own career from steward to Deputy Prime Minister.
Via archive, poetry and new interviews, John also tells the little-known story of the British Merchant Navy. The tale starts from when its ships once carried half of all the cargo that moved around the world and its role in wartime, through to its near-collapse in the 1970s and 80s and the changes in law in recent years that have helped rebuild the fleet.
A Malcolm Billings and Associates production for BBC Radio 4.
From The Radio Times
Perhaps better known for his two Jaguars and impressive right hook, the MP for Hull East and onetime Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was also a steward and waiter in the merchant navy before entering politics, making him the perfect host for this entertaining and informative history of Britain's "other" navy. Punctuated by witty poems written by sailors, Prescott introduces a series of interviews with ex-seamen, describing maritime life, their role in the world wars and the eventual decline of cargo shipping in the UK, as well as his own anecdotes from his time at sea. And in case you were wondering, Red Duster is slang for the Red Ensign flag flown by ships of the British merchant navy.
-- Alastair Plumb
Type : mpeg 1 layer III
Bitrate : 160
Mode : stereo
Frequency : 44100 Hz
Length : 00:56:45
Encoder : Lame 3.97
Source : iPlayer
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