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  • BBC Face to Face archives include letters from 20th century luminaries
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • BBCFaceto

BBC Face to Face archives include letters from 20th century luminaries

An archive of papers relating to the BBC's landmark interview series Face to Face (1959-1962) is coming up for auction at Bonhams on November 12 in London.

face to face archive
The show was the first to introduce a hard-hitting interview style, with Freeman reducing some of his guests to tears



The papers come from Hugh Burnett, producer of the TV interviews with John Freeman. Included are letters between Burnett and a number of the show's high profile guests, including Richard Nixon, Carl Jung and Martin Luther King, with many of their autographs added to the show's guestbook.

The archive is valued at ?�2,000-3,000 ($3,198-4,797).

Also included is a typescript used for the book of interviews published by Jonathan Cape, as well as photographs and ephemera from the show.

The show featured interviews with some of the top luminaries of the era, with Burnett responsible for choosing the interviewees. He wanted fascist Oswald Moseley to be "given a going over" by the famously ruthless John Freeman, but BBC director general Hugh Greene refused to air the show in the fear of race riots.

Marlene Dietrich was also due to appear, but ended the BBC phone call with "you can't afford me", in typical style.

The show was later revived in 1989, again featuring some of the top names of the time.

See our fantastic range of autographs for sale.


  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • BBCFaceto