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Review: Charles Kennedy: A good man speaking

As Paul highlighted earlier, a major new documentary on the life and career of Charles Kennedy will be broadcast tonight on BBC Alba.

There is much to love in this programme. I have to say it brought a fair few of my emotions out to play – from the joy of hearing about his tactics at psyching out the opposition in school debating competitions and the fun of his election campaigns, to the anger at his treatment in his later years and the sadness of losing him way too soon.

Friends from school, university, family and politics recall the events that shaped him and the reasoning behind his key decisions. Among the interviewees are his brother-in-law and  friend James Gurling, Catherine MacLeod, a colleague at BBC Highland who was later Alastair Darling’s Special Adviser when he was Chancellor, Jim Wallace and Celia Munro, one of the stalwarts of the Liberal Democrats in Ross-shire and wife of Charles’ mentor John Farquhar Munro. Enjoy this trailer.

The programme has some rarely seen gems, like a clip of him broadcasting during his short BBC Radio Highland internship in the early 80s.

Charles always thought of himself as a Highlander first. The programme shows the influence of the Highlands on his actions and thinking throughout his life, including  opposing the war in Iraq, on which he was ultimately proven right.

But just 8 months after an election in which we won our highest ever number of MPs, Charles was ousted as leader. It was not an edifying moment in our history and I am sure that many of us have wondered what might have been if another way through the challenges of that time could have been found.

Posted in Op-eds | 19 Comments

Charles Kennedy documentary on BBC Alba tonight

Embed from Getty Images

Scottish Lib Dems and others have been tweeting about “Tearlach Ceannadach/Charles Kennedy: A Good Man Speaking” which will air on BBC Alba tonight at 21:00 and follow online “shortly afterwards”. There are already substantial clips and extensive photo galleries available on the BBC Alba website. We hope to carry a review of the programme later today.

Posted in TV and film | Also tagged and | 1 Comment
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