Margaret Thatcher v God v A Hard Hat

A BBC local news programme reporter we know once interviewed Mrs Thatcher. It was at York Minster, during the Miners' Strike. She had come up to Yorkshire to see how the repairs were going on the South transept - which had been badly damaged in a fire. (Elderly listeners will know it was caused by God getting wiggy with the Bishop of Durham..) Waiting for her with the press pack - she (aka Bernard Ingham press weasel in chief) had issued strict instructions not to mention the strike - we became bored. I put my hard hat on back-to-front and began doing Benny Hill impressions to a friend from the Daily Mail (hey, reporters are allowed to make friends as they please..) he - being a photographer - took pictures. My camera crew groaned. Suddenly Special Branch were upon us and the candy-floss hair strode into view. Quick as a flash, our hero asks : 'What did you think when you heard York Minster was on fire, Prime Minister?' (banal yes, but as a doorstepper not bad in the circs).. Somewhat bemused (either by a reporter obeying her Press Secretary for once, or the question) Mrs T got all thoughtful and said 'We were on holiday in Italy and I immediately felt the shock and sadness...' Passing on the key question did she mean she had Denis with her when she said 'we', yours T went straight in with the other doorstepper question that seemed to fit: 'Do you believe in God Mrs Thatcher?' Almost alarmed, the Iron Lady murmured: 'I think he is someone with whom I talk often..' So there you have it - the conversation can now continue in that great studio in the sky. And I lost my photo of me talking to the Iron Lady with a hard hat on backwards.

Posted 12:17 AM | Permalink

TAGS: maggie thatcher, york minster fire, miners strike