I spent my main career making radio and television programmes for the BBC and after I left in 1993 to join an independent company I continued to produce TV documentaries for an international market. I would like you to read about that in ‘About’.
However, now that I am a writer I have been asked to appear in other producer’s programmes, and I list these below. I should like to appear in front of the camera and microphone more often and at present (autumn 2015) I am in discussion with an independent company for a BBC 4 documentary on John Freeman.
In 2007, Diverse Productions made a three part series for Channel 4 about the Home Guard in World War 2. Its publicity said: “In the first programme of the series, Hugh Purcell tells the story of Tom Wintringham - the Red Revolutionary - one of the leading journalists of his time, a former communist and freedom fighter from the Spanish civil war. His vision was to mould the Home Guard into a vast guerrilla army. In the unlikely setting of a stately home on the outskirts of London, he established one of the most sophisticated military training centres in the country. Surviving Home Guard veterans explain demonstrate how they were trained to tackle the Nazis.”
In 2010 I was asked by BBC Radio 4 to speak about the Indian quasi-fascist leader Subhas Chandra Bose, whose Indian National Army allied with the Japanese and fought against British rule in Burma in 1944. It was heavily defeated. This followed a long article I had written about Bose for History Today earlier in the year (see Articles).
In 2005 a BBC Radio 4 series called ‘Document’, interviewed me to explore the possibility that the continuing appeasement of Hitler in 1939 and 1940 might have led to a people’s revolution in Britain. In May 1940 Churchill became Prime Minister and the British Army escaped from Dunkirk, but it could have been very different.
The interview was based on the experiences of Tom Wintringham during this ‘phony war’ period that I had revealed in my biography ‘The Last English Revolutionary. Later, I followed up the theme in my counter-factual essay that supposed Lord Halifax had become Prime Minister in May 1940. The essay was printed in the book ‘The Prime Ministers Who Never Were’ (For both books go to my ‘Other Recent Books’ column).
In July 2015 I was interviewed on Jo Good’s Afternoon Show for BBC Radio London about John Freeman and the ‘Face to Face’ interviews.
The book about John Freeman,'A Very Private Celebrity', was published in September 2015. You can buy a signed copy at a reduced price by clicking on the button below.