26/08/2016 Newsnight


26/08/2016

With Naga Munchetty. President Bashar al-Assad's forces retake Darayya after 5 years of conflict in Syria. Plus tiger parenting and Clive James on not being dead.


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Transcript


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Five years on since the start of the Syrian uprising,

:00:00.:00:00.

Darayya surrenders after its near total-devastation.

:00:07.:00:09.

Assad's soldiers chant their victory.

:00:10.:00:13.

Thousands of civilians and hundreds of rebel soldiers are bussed out

:00:14.:00:17.

of one of the first towns to rise up against their government.

:00:18.:00:22.

Here in Geneva, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry,

:00:23.:00:24.

has finished his talks with Russia's Sergei Lavrov.

:00:25.:00:28.

Both leaders talked about narrowing their differences -

:00:29.:00:30.

can they really make a difference

:00:31.:00:32.

when it comes to ending the war in Syria?

:00:33.:00:37.

We'll be asking a former Obama advisor

:00:38.:00:38.

if the US has any leverage left in Syria.

:00:39.:00:44.

Is the billion-pound parenting industry a waste of time?

:00:45.:00:47.

We talk to the woman who's telling parents to ditch the books

:00:48.:00:50.

and let their kids' brains do all the work.

:00:51.:00:53.

The legendary tv critic Clive James on boxed sets, reality TV -

:00:54.:00:56.

There was a wave of obituaries, of fond goodbyes, tears in eye,

:00:57.:01:05.

And there I was, alive and reading it!

:01:06.:01:12.

And our final Proms playout, Rick Astley.

:01:13.:01:19.

The UN says that the world is watching,

:01:20.:01:39.

this as hundreds of rebel fighters and thousands of civilians

:01:40.:01:41.

begin to evacuate the besieged Damascus suburb of Darayya -

:01:42.:01:44.

the longest stand-off between government-led forces

:01:45.:01:45.

and rebels in Syria's five-year war is ending.

:01:46.:01:53.

And as the US Secretary of State, John Kerry,

:01:54.:01:55.

meets his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Geneva today

:01:56.:02:00.

for further talks to try to bring peace,

:02:01.:02:02.

they might do well to reflect on the story of Daraya,

:02:03.:02:04.

that some of the first protests against Assad began.

:02:05.:02:08.

committed one of the war's biggest massacres to date.

:02:09.:02:13.

And after years of inaction from the international community,

:02:14.:02:20.

it is here where the government forces are now resurgent

:02:21.:02:22.

Four years of resistance against all the odds came to an end in Darayya

:02:23.:02:46.

today. Besieged, starved and bombed by the Assad regime, residents are

:02:47.:02:54.

being bussed out of this suburb and the army is moving in. Regime

:02:55.:02:57.

soldiers chanted pro-government slogans at them as they left, some

:02:58.:03:03.

in tears. Civilians heading for government-controlled areas, rebels

:03:04.:03:04.

for opposition held it live province. -- Idlib. This man worked

:03:05.:03:12.

as a media activist in the local council. He leaves tomorrow.

:03:13.:03:18.

TRANSLATION: People are feeling profoundly bitter, is days the agony

:03:19.:03:24.

of being sent from their homeland. These are the people who sacrificed

:03:25.:03:29.

their lives to stand for the city, it is a very tough situation for

:03:30.:03:33.

civilians because this is the very same regime that has been bombarding

:03:34.:03:37.

them with napalm, barrel bombs, rockets and chemical attacks. It is

:03:38.:03:41.

the very regime that has been besieging them and preventing food

:03:42.:03:45.

from reaching them. If people had another choice, they would have

:03:46.:03:49.

opted for it, but people have no choice. The story of Darayya is, in

:03:50.:03:55.

many ways, the story of the Syrian uprising. It was one of the first

:03:56.:04:01.

areas to break out in peaceful protests against the regime five

:04:02.:04:06.

years ago. Demonstrated carried roses towards government soldiers,

:04:07.:04:11.

and the activist behind these protests was arrested, tortured and

:04:12.:04:14.

killed. When the Free Syrian Army began to take control in 2012, the

:04:15.:04:20.

response was brutal. A massacre of hundreds of people, blamed on Assad

:04:21.:04:25.

loyalists, one of the worst the conflict had scene at that stage.

:04:26.:04:33.

But over the years, more was to come.

:04:34.:04:38.

After rebel forces took full control of the district, Darayya, like other

:04:39.:04:44.

opposition held areas, was the target of the regime's air force,

:04:45.:04:49.

blamed for the majority of deaths in Syria during the conflict. Darayya

:04:50.:04:53.

is just a few minutes from the centre of Damascus and the heart of

:04:54.:04:56.

the regime. It and other rebel held suburbs were besieged by government

:04:57.:04:58.

forces. Food and medicine began to run out,

:04:59.:05:15.

with residents reduced to boiling herbs. Despite pleas for help, the

:05:16.:05:20.

UN managed to deliver aid only once in four years. The failure to break

:05:21.:05:24.

the siege has angered many. Darayya was a symbol of everything that

:05:25.:05:31.

revolutionary Syrians wanted for their country. It produced a

:05:32.:05:37.

democratic local council, its self organised in a democracy. The

:05:38.:05:40.

militias defending the town were under civilian control, unlike

:05:41.:05:46.

elsewhere in Syria, they certainly were not jihadists, they were three

:05:47.:05:52.

army fighters. It is a place which preserved its values of intelligent,

:05:53.:05:58.

nonsectarian, revolutionary resistance. Today, unfortunately, it

:05:59.:06:02.

is become a symbol of the slow annihilation of these democratic

:06:03.:06:08.

hopes by the Assad regime and the collaboration of the rest of the

:06:09.:06:12.

world. The regime accuses rebels of having helped people hostage in

:06:13.:06:17.

Darayya, but others worried today's Benz will encourage Assad to

:06:18.:06:23.

continue his siege tactics elsewhere. What lies ahead for

:06:24.:06:27.

Darayya and the Syrian revolution? is our chief international

:06:28.:06:30.

correspondent, Lyse Doucet. We saw rebels fleeing the town of

:06:31.:06:38.

Darayya in that report, how much of a blow is this to the rebels? This

:06:39.:06:44.

is a huge development, it is a symbol both in terms of the

:06:45.:06:47.

symbolism but also the strategic value. For the Syrian government,

:06:48.:06:53.

Darayya is the gateway to Damascus, there was no way they were going to

:06:54.:06:57.

let Darayya fall, and that is what we have seen over the past four

:06:58.:07:01.

years, every time we went to Damascus, we could see bombs topping

:07:02.:07:05.

on Darayya. As the report said, the UN only managed once in four years

:07:06.:07:10.

to distribute aid in the town. But the opposition, as we have been

:07:11.:07:15.

hearing, it was a symbol of their resistance, and what was supposed to

:07:16.:07:18.

be an icon of what the rebels wanted to achieve a cross Syria. And now

:07:19.:07:23.

today it is a symbol of defeat. The Syrian government wants to send a

:07:24.:07:27.

message to say to those who have been meeting in Geneva that they do

:07:28.:07:32.

not need world powers to bring about peace in Syria, the Syrians will do

:07:33.:07:36.

it themselves. But of course for the Syrian government, that is on its

:07:37.:07:41.

own terms. Where you are, John Kerry, Sergei Lavrov have met today,

:07:42.:07:45.

you have been at negotiations like this before, what sense are you

:07:46.:07:50.

getting of any possible deal? John Kerry has always been described as

:07:51.:07:56.

an optimist, his aides tell us that he is going to work to the very last

:07:57.:08:00.

day of President Obama's presidency in January to try to make a

:08:01.:08:05.

difference in Syria, to try to fight against the so-called Islamic State,

:08:06.:08:09.

which tilt controls large swathes of Syrian territory, but also to try to

:08:10.:08:14.

bring about a truce. More than 12 hours ago, when he went into talks

:08:15.:08:18.

with Sergei Lavrov, some of the negotiators said they had made

:08:19.:08:21.

progress over the past several weeks in trying to narrow the differences.

:08:22.:08:27.

It will be up to the foreign ministers to close the gaps, but

:08:28.:08:30.

when they came out, they said, we made progress, we narrowed the

:08:31.:08:34.

difference. Sergei Lavrov talked about dots separating them, John

:08:35.:08:37.

Kerry said there was greater clarity on what it would achieve to take a

:08:38.:08:41.

truce, and also strengthened cooperation between Moscow and

:08:42.:08:46.

Washington. But they are not there, and Kerry said, we do not want to

:08:47.:08:49.

announce a deal unless we are sure there is a deal. The big question

:08:50.:08:55.

is, when can they achieve that? As always - Lyse Doucet, thank you very

:08:56.:09:02.

much. Earlier I spoke to a form of foreign policy adviser to the Obama

:09:03.:09:06.

administrations, Vali Nasr sits on the foreign policy advisory board to

:09:07.:09:10.

the State Department. I began by asking him how much power the US

:09:11.:09:13.

Government has when it comes to the situation in Syria today. The US is

:09:14.:09:19.

negotiating without any leveraged, and without any ability to offer

:09:20.:09:25.

anything concrete. So it is at a disadvantage. It is understood that

:09:26.:09:29.

it can play a very important role, but not without much more engagement

:09:30.:09:35.

in Syria. So what is the incentive from Sergei Lavrov to offer any

:09:36.:09:39.

compromise? So it doesn't serve Russian interests to be seen as the

:09:40.:09:46.

ones who are rejecting talks. They are always ready to talk, they

:09:47.:09:51.

always give the positive signal, they always try to encourage the

:09:52.:09:56.

process going forward. But without any US ability to cajole and

:09:57.:09:59.

persuade, it is not going to go very far. And I would also say that the

:10:00.:10:02.

Russians are every bit as interested in engaging the US, because they

:10:03.:10:07.

think it moves the US somewhat more towards the middle and towards them,

:10:08.:10:12.

and away from the opposition and its backers in the region. So for them,

:10:13.:10:18.

the diplomatic process is part of the management of the situation in

:10:19.:10:22.

Syria to their own advantage. How much is the position of John Kerry,

:10:23.:10:27.

facing talks with Sergei Lavrov, how much is it the fault of President

:10:28.:10:31.

Obama being ineffective when it comes to Syria? I think to a good

:10:32.:10:36.

extent, because Secretary Kerry is trying very hard to find a

:10:37.:10:39.

diplomatic opening, but diplomacy only works if the other side takes

:10:40.:10:44.

you seriously, that they think there is a cost to not engaging, or a cost

:10:45.:10:49.

to not doing the right thing. Right now, the only pressure that comes on

:10:50.:10:53.

Russia and on Iran is coming from extremists on the ground, which is

:10:54.:10:58.

not very good news, and they know it, that ultimately the West would

:10:59.:11:02.

be very worried about that. But there was no clear that the United

:11:03.:11:05.

States may bomb targets or may get involved or may change the shape of

:11:06.:11:10.

the conflict to their disadvantage. The US is simply trying to persuade

:11:11.:11:14.

them to do the right thing, and that doesn't really go very far. Should

:11:15.:11:20.

President Obama have pursued the idea of bombing in Syria in 2013?

:11:21.:11:27.

Yes, I do think that diplomacy in a case like Syria would work if the

:11:28.:11:32.

other side would have thought that the United States is willing and

:11:33.:11:36.

able to get involved in a way that will change the facts on the ground

:11:37.:11:40.

to their disadvantage. So they would be really incentivised to prevent

:11:41.:11:44.

the United States from getting involved. If they think that the

:11:45.:11:48.

United States is not going to get involved, there is no real downside

:11:49.:11:51.

for them to continue the course that they are at. So the US lost

:11:52.:11:55.

credibility, essentially, over the red line in Syria when it threatened

:11:56.:12:04.

that it was going to use force and then it didn't, and since then it

:12:05.:12:06.

hasn't even threatened to use force, and as a result the Russians and

:12:07.:12:10.

Iranians do not see any threat to losing their position on the ground

:12:11.:12:14.

in the war in Syria. So who could bring that threat? We are looking to

:12:15.:12:18.

the next administration now, hypothetically, Hillary Clinton is

:12:19.:12:22.

in power, a former Secretary of State, is she the person to bring

:12:23.:12:26.

the threat? Is she the person to assert United States power when it

:12:27.:12:31.

comes to negotiating over Syria? I think both the Russians and the

:12:32.:12:34.

Iranians take her very seriously, they think that she is somebody who

:12:35.:12:39.

believes in America's role in the world, its leadership role, and it

:12:40.:12:43.

is willing to use force, and definitely even her track record at

:12:44.:12:47.

the State Department on Syria, while she was in office, suggested that

:12:48.:12:52.

she was much more willing to lend American power to support the

:12:53.:13:00.

opposition, to provide no-fly space, to support forces on the ground

:13:01.:13:04.

militarily in a way that would have changed the dynamics of fighting on

:13:05.:13:09.

the ground. So I think, yes, but the Iranians and the Russians would

:13:10.:13:13.

think that a Clinton Administration is likely to get a lot tougher, and

:13:14.:13:19.

be willing to actually use hard power to force a change of opinion

:13:20.:13:24.

in Moscow and Tehran. Does the United States have to accept that

:13:25.:13:31.

Assad is going nowhere, he is firmly in place? I think it has accepted

:13:32.:13:34.

that, although it cannot say it in public, because so early on it

:13:35.:13:42.

associated itself with the need of Assad to leave power. The US has

:13:43.:13:46.

done nothing other than rhetorical exhortation is about him leaving,

:13:47.:13:51.

and the more powerful ices became, and the more American policy was

:13:52.:13:56.

focused on Isis, the more the US sort of washed its hands of any

:13:57.:14:00.

serious effort to remove Assad from power. Go by is Vali Nasr, thank you

:14:01.:14:03.

for your time. Thank you. It's not uncommon for a new parent

:14:04.:14:07.

to seek advice when it comes to raising a child, be it

:14:08.:14:10.

from relatives, friends But a new book says

:14:11.:14:12.

that books are not the answer. and allow our offspring

:14:13.:14:16.

to develop naturally and forget

:14:17.:14:19.

the traditional guidelines. People take classes,

:14:20.:14:26.

visit online forums and read books. Doctor Spock's common-sense book

:14:27.:14:33.

of baby and child care It was published in 1946

:14:34.:14:43.

and since then it has As the extended family went

:14:44.:14:49.

into decline in the 1950s, parenting guides became

:14:50.:14:55.

increasingly in demand. Raising a child became a skill

:14:56.:14:59.

you could learn, with dos and don'ts that promised

:15:00.:15:01.

to help anxious new parents raise Fashions came and went,

:15:02.:15:04.

parents bought books advising them to leave their child to cry

:15:05.:15:13.

and books recommending sharing They read about the benefits

:15:14.:15:16.

of pushing your children to succeed Alison Gopnik, a developmental

:15:17.:15:22.

psychologist at Berkeley, 30 years of scientific research

:15:23.:15:35.

into child development, she says, has revealed how

:15:36.:15:40.

remarkably sensitive Babies are naturals at learning

:15:41.:15:43.

and they learn by playing, Parenting is going the wrong

:15:44.:15:49.

way, says Gopnik. We shouldn't be using prescriptive

:15:50.:15:54.

techniques to raise our kids. Just provide a rich,

:15:55.:15:58.

nurturing environment and children's Well, Professor Alison Gopnik

:15:59.:16:00.

is here to explain all. Thank you for joining me. So, the

:16:01.:16:20.

book, it looks at the carpenter and the gardener, explain the

:16:21.:16:25.

difference? OK, the idea about being a parent that comes from these

:16:26.:16:29.

parenting books is that you can take a child and you can shape them into

:16:30.:16:33.

a particular kind of adult if you have the right kind of techniques

:16:34.:16:38.

and expertise, the way a carpenter can take a piece of wood and turn

:16:39.:16:42.

that into a chair. I think that is not the view that comes from the

:16:43.:16:47.

science, when you look at the science, the core thing in this

:16:48.:16:51.

book, a better picture is a picture of a gardener, a picture of

:16:52.:16:55.

creating, a rich, stable environment in which all sorts of Flowers can

:16:56.:17:00.

blame and also has a surprising variable unpredictable things can

:17:01.:17:04.

happen and it is not that gardening is not hard work, it is, but the

:17:05.:17:08.

picture is not that you are bringing about a particular result, you are

:17:09.:17:12.

trying to present a framework and an environment in which children can

:17:13.:17:17.

develop themselves. You mention the science, give me a brief example of

:17:18.:17:22.

the science behind this. If you look even at the very youngest children,

:17:23.:17:26.

they have incredibly powerful learning mechanisms and they learn

:17:27.:17:31.

best by observing the people around them in tremendously subtle and

:17:32.:17:35.

sophisticated ways and be going into the world and playing. Those kinds

:17:36.:17:38.

of learning, especially for young children, below the age of five, are

:17:39.:17:45.

much more powerful than any of the kinds of variants that parents

:17:46.:17:48.

self-consciously try to do based on things like the parenting books. So

:17:49.:17:54.

the children, we don't have to make children learn, we just have to let

:17:55.:17:58.

them learn. Is this book focused on children in the younger years? The

:17:59.:18:03.

formative years? A lot of the research has been on children in the

:18:04.:18:06.

first years and they know a tremendous amount of learning and

:18:07.:18:09.

development goes on in those first years but I think the general point

:18:10.:18:15.

applies also to school age children and adolescents and even

:18:16.:18:18.

undergraduates, that we have a model that somehow there is a set of

:18:19.:18:22.

self-conscious techniques we can use and we can guarantee we will get a

:18:23.:18:26.

particular outcome. And a better way of thinking about this is a

:18:27.:18:31.

children, by their very evolutionary nature, are designed to pick up the

:18:32.:18:34.

material that is in the culture around them, the values, and change

:18:35.:18:38.

them and shape them and advise them and turn them into something new.

:18:39.:18:44.

Our job is to provide a framework in which that revision and change and

:18:45.:18:47.

shaping and discovery and variability and exploration can take

:18:48.:18:50.

place, not to bring about a particular result. Part of the

:18:51.:18:56.

nature of a parent is to give a child all the tools they can

:18:57.:19:01.

possibly give to succeed in an ever increasingly competitive world. Why

:19:02.:19:04.

shouldn't parents actively teach children? It is very difficult, I

:19:05.:19:09.

imagine, to be able to step back and say, developed at your own pace? It

:19:10.:19:14.

is ironic because in the post-industrial world that we live

:19:15.:19:18.

in, the tools you really need to succeed aren't any particular set of

:19:19.:19:22.

skills or knowledge, the tools you need are the ability to be in a new

:19:23.:19:27.

situation and in a new environment and create something create

:19:28.:19:29.

something new, something that has never been before. That is what a

:19:30.:19:34.

place like Silicon Valley thrives on and it is interesting that in that

:19:35.:19:38.

context people realise that play is the best mechanism for doing that.

:19:39.:19:44.

The irony is that by trying so hard to teach children to succeed, we may

:19:45.:19:48.

not actually be giving them the tools that they need to succeed in

:19:49.:19:52.

the real change in future that they face. The thought that comes from

:19:53.:19:59.

the science is from an evolutionary perspective, the thing that makes

:20:00.:20:03.

human beings so special was our very long extended immature childhood and

:20:04.:20:06.

it is a puzzle about why our baby is dependent on us for so very long,

:20:07.:20:11.

why does it take so much energy? A whole village and not just parents

:20:12.:20:15.

but grandparents and cousins and friends to just raise a child? And

:20:16.:20:20.

the answer seems to be that that protective period of immaturity

:20:21.:20:24.

gives children a chance both as individual children and as a

:20:25.:20:26.

generation of children to come out exactly the

:20:27.:20:40.

way we want, it would be self-defeating, we will be defeating

:20:41.:20:42.

the whole point of childhood. You are suggesting to a lot of people

:20:43.:20:45.

that they go against their instincts and don't parent and that parenting

:20:46.:20:50.

is a concept we should not adopt any more? What should we be doing as

:20:51.:20:55.

parents? I think our instincts are good. I think people's instincts are

:20:56.:21:00.

to love their children, articulate the values that are important to

:21:01.:21:05.

them, can be the things that we think are important, care for them,

:21:06.:21:09.

no matter who they are, unconditional, those instincts are

:21:10.:21:13.

the right instance, they are exactly the gardener instincts that will

:21:14.:21:17.

give children a good environment and the parenting idea is not something

:21:18.:21:20.

that is instinctive, it is something that developed very late in the 20th

:21:21.:21:25.

century, it is pretty strange, this way of thinking about being a parent

:21:26.:21:28.

compare to what we have done for most of human history. It is a

:21:29.:21:32.

special thing that came with industrial schooling and a thing

:21:33.:21:36.

that came with the fact that for the first time, people were

:21:37.:21:48.

having children who had not actually experienced much raising of children

:21:49.:21:52.

before but who had done things like work and go to school and therefore

:21:53.:21:54.

thought that raising children are caring for children was a kind of

:21:55.:21:57.

variant of working and going to school. That is not our natural

:21:58.:21:59.

instinct, that is something that is quite unusual and historical, it is

:22:00.:22:02.

only just becoming dominant in the last little while. Alison Gopnik,

:22:03.:22:04.

thank you for joining us this evening.

:22:05.:22:07.

It's a black joke in showbusiness that death is a great career move.

:22:08.:22:10.

One person in a position to bear out the double-edged truth

:22:11.:22:13.

of this is Clive James, the TV critic, memoirist,

:22:14.:22:15.

He was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010.

:22:16.:22:20.

Soon after he went through a very public estrangement from his wife

:22:21.:22:24.

after revelations about a long affair of his.

:22:25.:22:27.

In wry observation, he says he was willing to accept

:22:28.:22:30.

He spent much time binge-watching television series and used

:22:31.:22:36.

the little energy he had to read and write.

:22:37.:22:39.

Out of the crisis came some of James's most admired work.

:22:40.:22:42.

With the help of groundbreaking drugs he is still here and is taking

:22:43.:22:45.

what some might see as a morbid pleasure in what he calls

:22:46.:22:48.

Stephen Smith went to see him at his home in Cambridge,

:22:49.:22:54.

where he's just written a book about his passion for TV boxsets.

:22:55.:23:02.

If I look like a heap of sh*t or a wreck, let's just

:23:03.:23:05.

I'll write it into the show for you, I promise.

:23:06.:23:08.

The methylamine keeps flowing, no matter what.

:23:09.:23:16.

Breaking Bad, an acclaimed drama about a man who is buying himself

:23:17.:23:27.

some time through drugs, has been entertaining Clive James,

:23:28.:23:30.

a man who is buying himself some time through drugs.

:23:31.:23:34.

I must say that, straight away, I have been useful, haven't I?

:23:35.:23:40.

Because I have brought you into a new field.

:23:41.:23:43.

The appeal is you can't stop watching.

:23:44.:23:45.

It is like getting on a train and never stops.

:23:46.:23:50.

I used to be in the TV criticism business years

:23:51.:23:52.

ago and when I left it, the wind-up piece that

:23:53.:23:56.

I wrote in my last week, I predicted that American TV

:23:57.:23:59.

I made a slow start with Game of Thrones.

:24:00.:24:11.

I didn't really want to start, actually, because it's got dragons.

:24:12.:24:13.

And I saw five minutes of the first episode.

:24:14.:24:20.

I didn't even want to see them hatch!

:24:21.:24:24.

I was talked into it by my younger daughter.

:24:25.:24:27.

And I found myself, against my expectations,

:24:28.:24:30.

If you look at what the terrestrial channels here still provide,

:24:31.:24:37.

recently we have had things like The Night Manager,

:24:38.:24:40.

War and Peace, Peaky Blinders, even dear old Downton Abbey.

:24:41.:24:45.

No, no, the ones you name, you just happened to chance upon

:24:46.:24:51.

the shows that I think are nowhere beside the American ones.

:24:52.:24:55.

What was the one that was set in Egypt?

:24:56.:24:58.

I thought it was pretty close to being nonsense, that one.

:24:59.:25:08.

And if I were still in the TV criticism business,

:25:09.:25:10.

Are you to blame for reality television, Clive?

:25:11.:25:16.

People sometimes say so and I am very flattered but

:25:17.:25:19.

The truth is, I put the reality shows that were being made elsewhere

:25:20.:25:23.

Some of them extremely improbable, like the Japanese game show,

:25:24.:25:35.

If you are worried that there is such a thing as a television

:25:36.:25:43.

producer who wants to roast people in a plastic box,

:25:44.:25:45.

bomb them with pepper, dress them as bats and hang them

:25:46.:25:48.

upside down with their pants full of cockroaches,

:25:49.:25:50.

ask yourself what you would rather he was doing instead?

:25:51.:25:53.

What happened next wasn't funny at all.

:25:54.:25:55.

They all became believable and we started to do them.

:25:56.:25:59.

I may have been a participant in the biggest deterioration

:26:00.:26:04.

What an ironic end thought for such a high mind?

:26:05.:26:13.

Some of the reality TV shows don't work.

:26:14.:26:15.

One of the channels not long ago tried one about ski jumping.

:26:16.:26:25.

Yeah, but that was the problem, wasn't it?

:26:26.:26:32.

Because there are not that many actual celebrities.

:26:33.:26:34.

You can't really send Helen Mirren over a cliff!

:26:35.:26:36.

Now, you have described this time as your posthumous years.

:26:37.:26:41.

Because I was really on the way out, then.

:26:42.:27:03.

I picked the exact moment in history where preventative medicine

:27:04.:27:15.

for the thing that I have got, which is leukaemia,

:27:16.:27:18.

It has got a wonderful name, it's called ibrutinib.

:27:19.:27:27.

And as I have said in my new book, it sounds like a piece of film

:27:28.:27:31.

dialogue, doesn't it?

:27:32.:27:33.

You can see Russell Crowe playing it!

:27:34.:27:39.

It has got an overdeveloped neck, hasn't it?

:27:40.:27:44.

The granddaughter of the Girl from Ipanema is the princess of that

:27:45.:27:53.

The former prime-time host has had time to read his obituaries and,

:27:54.:27:59.

with a book of poems, to write a few of them, too.

:28:00.:28:04.

I was rather embarrassed because I did almost die in 2010

:28:05.:28:07.

and 2011 and I think it was the second time,

:28:08.:28:10.

Please don't take this the wrong way.

:28:11.:28:25.

The only sensible thing to do would be...

:28:26.:28:29.

You have become the Julian Assange of leukaemia, in a way, haven't you?

:28:30.:28:36.

Everyone is waiting for the next development.

:28:37.:28:41.

Everyone is waiting for Julian Assange to starve

:28:42.:28:43.

I'm not so sure he was very wise to go in there.

:28:44.:28:51.

Well, I suppose if one might be harsh and personal,

:28:52.:28:59.

one might say you should have faced the music a bit earlier

:29:00.:29:02.

You could try that but you're not going to get far.

:29:03.:29:07.

You wrote that lovely poem about a maple tree in your garden.

:29:08.:29:20.

All about, essentially, how it would outlive you.

:29:21.:29:23.

I may have to write another poem about that but at the moment I am

:29:24.:29:32.

A replacement tree, much smaller, but I like to think sturdier,

:29:33.:29:37.

All week we've been giving you a taster of the BBC Proms

:29:38.:29:49.

and tonight we've got a very special guest.

:29:50.:29:51.

He performs at Proms in the Park in Hyde Park on Saturday 10th

:29:52.:29:54.

September in the finale of the festival,

:29:55.:29:56.

But here with us, singing us out with his current single

:29:57.:30:00.

from his new album "50", is Rick Astley.

:30:01.:30:02.

# Sometimes I just don't feel like waking up.

:30:03.:30:09.

# Sometimes I feel like I am breaking up.

:30:10.:30:19.

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