In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis.
Browse content similar to 10/01/2018. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Cameron tried hugging huskies.
May has a plan for plastic.
Ahead of the release
of their 25-year environmental plan
we ask, can the blues
really go green?
Or will environmental activism
always belong to the left?
I'm in the heart of the Chilterns,
the beautiful rolling hills on the
outskirts of London which lies at
the heart of the government's
dilemma of protecting the
environment while promoting economic
We speak to Stanley Johnson
and Caroline Lucas.
The hunger to know what voters think
has never been stronger or more
vital for the modern politician.
We went to Essex to
find out their views.
Kids are not respectable to adults.
They say, who are you talking to?
They have no respect for the
teacher, no respect at all.
What do voters tell
you about their real concerns
when they know it will never been
traced back to them?
And, it's two years
since David Bowie died.
Stephen Smith has been talking
to his personal photographer
who went on tour with him
in the '80s.
I could do a book of David laughing.
You mean shots of him roaring away?
Gas, he laughed on stage because he
did not have to play the thin White
Duke or Ziggy Stardust any more but
he laughed all the time offstage as
well. He wanted to spend his time
Environmentalism has all
the hallmarks of a left wing cause -
the enlightened vanguard,
the fight against big corporations,
the endless virtue signalling
and the youthful warrior.
Which makes it a hard cause
for Conservatives to espouse.
Those on the right will tell
you it's about calmer things:
safeguarding resources, equilibrium.
But the battle to convince voters
that Conservatives are the natural
champions of green issues will be
an uphill one.
It starts tomorrow when
the government releases
its 25-year plan on the environment.
It includes a plan to eliminate
all avoidable plastic waste
by the end of 2042 - by which time
the Prime Minister would be -
excuse the detail - 86 years old.
Is there anything more radical?
We will find that out tomorrow.
Will it really stand a chance
of making anyone think
this is a subject close
to the Tory heart?
We will debate in a moment
with Stanley Johnson,
whose latest encounter
with all things green
was in the Australian jungle.
He's also written extensively
on the environment.
And Caroline Lucas,
Britain's only Green MP.
First, Nick Watt.
Ugly. Terrifying. And with
heart-rending results. Our oceans
are being menaced by the modern
disposable consumer age.
now every year we dump around 8
million tonnes of it into the sea.
The blight of plastic waste will be
condemned tomorrow by Theresa May as
one of the great environmental
scourges of our time. An unlikely
coalition of the voice of middling
woodland and environmental activists
have helped inspire the central
element of the government's 25 year
plan for the environment. No doubt
with an eye on winning over younger
voters, Theresa May will pledge to
eliminate all avoidable plastic
waste by 2042. Urge supermarkets to
introduce plastic free aisles with
loose food on display. Extend the 5p
charge for carrier bags in England
to all retailers. Increase funding
for plastics innovation to improve
recycling. And use UK aid to help
developing nations reduce pollution
and tackle waste. Use of the land
will also be tackled in the speech
as Theresa May highlights the
creation of a New Forest in the
North of England. The prime list
will also talk about how people can
be better connected with the
environment. I am in the Chilterns,
beautiful rolling hills on the
outskirts of London, which like the
heart of the government's dilemma of
protecting the environment while
promoting economic growth. Behind me
is Chequers, the Prime Minister's
official country residence, which
she uses for walks in this area.
Over there and that Hill is the
planned HS2 high-speed rail link to
the north of England which has been
fiercely resisted by residents here,
who say it threatens this area of
outstanding natural beauty. The
tensions between the economy and an
arm and was put to the Prime
Minister in the Commons today by the
Chilterns MP -- the economy and the
environment. It is an issue felt
keenly by this local farmer who also
complained that mixed messages down
the decades from Whitehall.
definitely a dilemma and it has been
a going on for generations. Back in
the 1960s it was government policy
to pull hedges out while since the
1970s it has been policy to plant
hedges. It was never a farmer's idea
to pull them out, it was a
government policy and we were told
to do it. Decisions need to be made
with good sound information and
knowledge and not on the whim as it
The central challenge for
Theresa May in this speech is to
reclaim the environment
reclaim the environment for the
Tories, who admit they have had a
mixed message in recent decades in
promoting their green credentials.
But the Prime Minister will say that
conserving resources lies at the
heart of Conservative principles.
Preserving finances to assure debt
is not passed on to future
generations, and preserving natural
resources to ensure this generation
leaves the planet in a better
condition for future generations.
This is about reusing, recycling and
minimising the amount of natural
resources we are using. It comes
down to fundamental conservative
philosophy, one that attracted me to
the Conservative Party initially
stewardship. It is about doing stuff
today that we in our lifetime may
never see the benefit of, but others
will. It is that long-term view.
That is why I like the idea that
this generation for the first time
leaves the state of the environment
in a better state than that which we
The problem is that it
often comes far too late and they
will spend a long time pooh-poohing
the science about whether the
destruction of the environment is
happening a lot and often they are
act after public opinion has finally
swayed and indeed after the
environment or damage has already
happened. If the Conservative Party
really wants to earn some green
credentials, it has to be a lot more
proactive about tackling these
issues and for the environmental
In rural areas, life can sometimes
move at a sedate pace, but the
passions stirred on how to protect
our environment only become more
heated with time.
Nick Watt reporting.
Well, I'm now joined by two
of the leading lights
of the environmental movement.
Stanley Johnson is a former
Conservative MEP and has been
an environmental campaigner
for over 50 years.
Caroline Lucas is co-leader
of the Green Party
and the party's only MP.
Very nice to have you both here.
Caroline, is there anything from
what you have seen so far that you
would disagree with? Action on
plastics, new trees, farmers
subsidies based on what they give
back, there is very little that you
disagree with I am assuming?
is little I disagree with so far.
The devil will be in the detail and
whether there is legislative weight
behind the proposals. What we need
to see in the plan tomorrow is a
real commitment to an environment
act which is the thing that would
make sure all these aspirations are
properly turned into policy. Don't
forget, we have been here before
with the Conservatives adopting a
nice green sheen. We had David
Cameron hugging his Huskies but when
he was in office he went from
hugging huskies to culling badgers.
We know there is a detoxification
process going on here. We know the
Tories have had some polling which
tells them they need to more
compassionate. This is a way to do
that. If they are really serious
there are two things they need to
look for. One is the environment act
with proper targets, timetables and
legislative weight, and the other is
to make sure there is action on
climate change as well. You can talk
about plastic as much as you like
and plastic is a serious
problem to marine animals, but if
you're really serious about the
health of the oceans, it is climate
change which is warming the oceans,
leaching our corals which is causing
mammals to die. The problem is the
Tories look at the environment in a
compartmentalised way. Next week we
may be talking about a whole new
fracking industry the government
wants to unleash. If they do that,
it will completely undermine their
Stanley, it does look very
ambitious. In 25 years Theresa May
will not be held to account.
a long, long way away. I think we
have to assume we get quite a lot of
action much before that. On the
plastics front it is good she is
doing that. I think it is vital that
she takes the comments with you.
can it be good to say we will get
rid of that in 25 years?
I think we
have to take a very advanced view.
So she is not doing enough on
At the moment we are doing
plastic bags. She is planning to
have now a consultation on single
use plastic bottles. Tremendously
important. I take Caroline's point.
This is not necessarily a left right
issue. The Conservatives honestly,
in 1969, I was the Conservative
officer on the environment. We did
take it seriously and by the way, we
won the election in 1970, so I think
they were right.
That you agree you
cannot divorce climate change
fracking from what you are trying to
do for 25 years on pollution?
problem is every time Caroline and I
meet together we agree with each
You agree with me.
think his politics are a barrier to
helping the environment, or do you
think Stanley Johnson and the
Conservative Party can solve it?
Stanley has a real reputation for
having done excellent work on the
environment in the past. Where I
would disagree now is he has done
this extraordinary U-turn on this
position on Brexit. He used to be
alongside me, he set up
environmentalist for Europe, he is
now adopting Brexit. If he does this
it will massively undermined the
Hold on, what I am
assuming tomorrow in this speech
that Mrs May will make, I think part
of the environment plan is to take
over into EU law the whole raft of
EU environmental legislation. And I
think she's going to say that she
will have an enforcement agency to
do what the commissioner and ECJ...
We had a chance to vote on that. I
put an amendment and it was not
We started talking about
the ideology of the environment and
who had a right to it? Would you
agree that the biggest friend to the
environment is the Daily Mail. They
did all the work against microbeads,
the plastic bag tax, sea pollution.
This is tomorrow's headline. They
have done more to help the cause
arguably than the Greens have.
are going at too far. I take your
point that they do some are good
But you have to
go to the middle ground.
You have to
do both. You have to get people
aboard with understandable specific
campaigns but you have to address
the structural difficulties as well.
For as long as the Daily Mail and
the Conservatives are promoting more
and more of the same kind of
economic growth, we will not have
the systemic change we need. We have
to change the way we do business.
the Conservatives had to choose
between economic growth and environ
mental concerns, you know economic
growth would always come first?
of the problems in this whole area
is one of the reasons we are forcing
ourselves down the economic growth
through it if they constantly
expanding population of this country
and you cannot ignore that. We are
going up to 70 million with 80
million in prospect. We should aim
for stability as far as pollution is
concerned and stability as far as
economic growth is concerned. Years
ago I wrote that and I think it
needs to happen.
But we need to look
at some practical things right now.
HS2, when push comes to shove, when
economic gains put on one side and
the environment on the other, it is
the economy which always wins out.
There is something that planting
more trees, that is great. HS2 will
threaten 35 agent woodlands. There
is no joined up thinking.
one of my sons is responsible for
Have a word with him.
take a leading role internationally,
forests, plastic pollution, climate
change and I would put in wildlife,
biodiversity. Crucial areas.
you both very much.
How well do politicians
know the electorate?
And do voters really
speak their minds when asked
about their concerns?
To get a better understanding
of peoples worries and insecurities
one think tank, Demos,
tried to take the pulse
of people in England -
paying particular attention to white
over fifties voters -
in areas that have undergone
the most significant
cultural and economic dislocation
over the past three decades.
Instead of asking responders
to tick boxes, it took down
quotes and comments,
word for word - inviting people
to answer honestly and anonymously
without fear of what some called
'the need for political
We'll ask if their words represent
legitimate economic grievance,
wistful nostalgia or a failure
to engage with modern Britain
in a moment.
First, John Sweeney has been gauging
reaction to the report's content
on Canvey Island in Essex.
Where better to discuss the latest
trends in British society than on
the Riviera, the Essex Riviera, that
is, and nowhere more lovely than
Canvey Island? So, this think tank
called Demos which is full of lardy
Dar types has had a go at people
like me, white and over 55, you
could call us pale and stale if not
necessarily male. Our views are a
mixed bag, some of them perhaps a
bit too miserable worrying about the
decline of Christianity, worrying
about do-gooders. On the other hand,
what's wrong with thinking about
family? What's wrong with believing
that you should respect people?
moved out of London into housing,
council housing from the old Kent
They have known each other
virtually their entire adult lives.
By the way, I use sisters or just
Friends for the last 50
50 years, when did you meet?
We met when I was waitressing in a
I was about 18 when we
met in London because we lived in
Was life better then?
Yeah. I think it was easier,
your husband went to work. I just
think it was easier.
I don't think
you wanted for much, your main thing
in life was that you had a roof over
your head and your kids were at
school and had a job when they came
out of school. That was the main
The Demos report quoted
dozens of people across the country.
Here is one. What were you
respectful of them that you see kids
are not respectful of now?
get handed... If you are sitting
around the table, which we do, and
use it all round the table, you have
not just got the adults around the
table, you've got the children as
well, so you are kind of passing on
Caring about one another and showing
them which way to go.
Sitting on this bench dedicated to
his late wife we came across Brian.
Too many do-gooders, our group think
that. Do you think that?
sure on that one about do-gooders. I
don't meet many in my life. I meet a
lot of people who are helpful in
many ways, you know, in terms of the
friendship I've had through what's
happened to me. I've had some very
good friends. Would you call them
do-gooders? I don't think so.
can't go to Canvey Island without
going down the booze. The survey
said older whites were not great at
naming politicians. True?
politician? Margaret Thatcher.
dead, Neymar living one.
Are any of
them living? -- name a politician.
You are the
intellectual, name another one.
Blair, David Cameron.
half of the Cabinet, well, Theresa
May is in it the others are out --
you are listing. Why are your
grandkids less optimistic about
their future is then you were at
One thing comes down to
the immigration. Parellis jobs for
our kids anymore. That's what I see
anyway. -- there are less jobs.
about buying a house?
Are people more respectful of
parity now all before?
They are less
respectful of authority, since they
took the cane away at school,
teachers are not allowed to punish
children. Parents now seem to let
their kids get away with anything.
Years ago I had more respect for my
parents. I got up to loads of
skulduggery but I never took it
home, it never went to my door. I
had more respect for my mum and dad,
whereas the kids nowadays don't seem
to care, they have no respect for
As far as capturing the
views of Canvey Island was
concerned, the survey was spot on.
John Sweeney there.
We're joined by Sophie Gaston
who is the Acting Director
of the Demos think tank
which is behind today's report.
Also with us is Danny Lockwood,
the publisher of The Press
newspaper, which covers Dewsbury
and Batley in West Yorkshiure
newspaper, which covers Dewsbury
and Batley in West Yorkshire,
and Areeq Chowdhury
who is the Chief Executive
of WebRoots Democracy,
a digital democracy organisation.
Lovely to have you here. If I can
start with you, Sophie, from what
you've heard from Canvey Island
today, does that reflect the sort of
voices you are putting together in
Absolutely. The key
theme that came out of all of the
focus groups we did was a sense that
Britain is fundamentally on the
wrong track and that people have
really utterly lost faith in the
capacity of politicians to shape and
improve their lives. For people to
day life feel stressful, it feels
precarious, and a real sense of
mourning around things that have
Danny, I'm going to come
to you, this idea of the wrong
track. If we could pull up these
quotes, these are verbatim quotes,
they don't necessarily all read very
obviously but let's just pull up one
of those quotes now. There are too
many do-gooders around. We saw a bit
of that in the film, didn't we? To
tell you what you can't do rather
than tell you what you can do. What
does that say to you?
That speaks to
me right off the top of the nanny
state really. But it all lies within
this political correctness that is
also kind of invading every element
of life. I'm not surprised old
people feel as though they are
getting blamed for getting old, they
have sustained the NHS for years but
they suddenly feel they are a burden
on it. And I think when they are
used to having a sense of community
and a place in life, they disappear.
When you say political correctness,
what does that mean?
I can only go
to my experience and say we have
seen radical socioeconomic cultural
shifts in our town and community has
gone and it's been replaced by, if
you like, the diktats of whether it
is political or judicial or local
authority, an administration that
seems to elevate, real or imagined
minorities, its values and rights
above there is. I think they have
been told, and they are sick of
being told, that their values and
their traditions and their cultural
heritage is worthless.
Areeq, do you
recognise that as being a corrosive
I wish we lived in a
politically correct society to don't
think we did I believe political
correctness as having basic respect
for one another. We need to talk
about this as political correctness
gone mad and it just needs to be
political correctness. I read in the
report that some people were talking
about how we are not really a
Christian country anymore. I wish we
lived in a country that practised
Christian values, love thy
neighbour, do unto others as you
would have them do to you. That's
what political correctness is about.
Political correctness, when you boil
it down, is about freedom of speech.
Personally, I think freedom of
speech doesn't mean that you can
simply say whatever the EXPLETIVE
you want about something without
there being consequences.
talk about the freedom of speech I
must apologise to our viewers.
perfectly illustrates my point I say
something and there is a consequence
and my reason for saying that is
people are annoyed about political
correctness, but what it's about as
you are free to say what you like in
Isn't that the point that
these people don't feel they have a
You can any newspaper in
society and that is freedom of
speech but if you see something I
deemed to be racist or bigoted I am
free to call you out on that, that's
the consequence, I can call out
sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia...
It is deeper than that, that is kind
of almost an intellectual
examination of it. These people are
talking about their real lives,
their real experiences, about their
community is being broken up, about
the landscape that their families
have known for generations and
generations being supplanted.
are changes throughout history.
There is no monopoly on British
In this country in a period
of time that we are witnessing,
these people are bearing witness to
it, they have a right to be affected
by it and feel like they are not
I don't want to break
up the conversation but I want to
bring up the next quote, this is
about cultural identity. If we can
just pull this one up, which says my
husband's got a van and it's got an
English flag and he actually got
pulled up the other day by somebody
and they said, why have you got an
English flag on your van? I'm
reading the rest of it here. Sophie,
to bring you in, is this part of a
bigger conversation about the flag
and about patriotism over jingoism,
or discomfort with that? What did
There was a huge amount of
discussion about English cultural
and national identity and it wasn't
just a flag, it was also St George's
Day, all of these different things,
and I think lots of citizens were
telling us that we feel that the
political classes have branded these
as somehow racist, or a symbol of
intolerance, or exclusion, and then
they are thinking, hang on, we have
to constantly adapt and welcome all
these other nationalities, and what
we start to see here is cultural
pluralism creating this kind of
Let me start on this
one then if I can with you, Areeq.
Do you find the St George's flag
makes you uncomfortable?
who is waving it. It has not been
made racist, by the way, by
immigrants or politicians, it's been
made racist by the likes of the EDL
and BMP. That's because those are
racist organisations that use that
flag as their brand and when it
comes to what you see on TV, apart
from the World Cup, you will see the
England fired at an EDL
demonstration on the news -- BMP.
have a real problem with that
because I think this is a real
symbol branded by people like Emily
Thornberry, when she ridiculed and
England football supporter in
Her career has not suffered for it,
She apologised for it.
a symbol of the wider problem that
where we have schools now with the
educational establishment is
brainwashing our kids that this
isn't a country that you can be very
No school is brainwashing
Would you feel able to
put a flag up in the window?
case it would be a Yorkshire flag. I
wouldn't have a problem about that.
I'm proud of my county, my country,
and the United Kingdom.
feel that part has been shut down?
would do it just the awkward but I
would know there be people... They
would be people passing judgment on
me because I was showing a symbol of
patriotism. I find that that really
You should address the
issue, which is people have taken
that flag and turned it into meaning
something, to some people it means
racism, that's the real issue,
whereas in society we see people
twisting that into these immigrants
are coming here at changing our
culture identity but that is not
I'm going to bring in another
quote now, about immigration. I will
start with Sophie to put this into
context for us. The immigrants that
got in now, they are not working, or
they are working for their money and
sending it off. Does that fit into
the kind of quotes and feedback you
Absolutely. We saw
very few expressions of overt racial
prejudice in these focus groups,
even when a space was created, save
space, for people to express those
views. There just wasn't that kind
of feeling. But what there was was a
very strong expression of what I
would call welfare chauvinism. The
idea that some people should have
access to our social state and
others shouldn't and the people who
have the access, it should be owned
by their social and economic
I enjoyed this
report because it felt like Sophie
was listening to me and my buddies
at the bar in the pub. But on this
one I don't think anything like this
risks presenting cliches and
stereotypes, and I kind of see that
as one of those. What came out of
the report that I really liked was
the fairness that was identified
quite broadly among people.
think that is not fair, do you hear
that quote and think it is not fair?
I can see why that would grab a
headline and be picked out but I
don't think the report says that's
even typical. I realised a finding
that these people from a specific
demographic who are not overtly
racist, and I do think that fairness
and get on with it attitude that
shone through in the report is
absolutely the generation of people
that I still respect.
When you hear
the immigration argument, do you
think it is about race, or do you
think it can be about you can --
I think it is
racist. When it comes to this, this
is a caricature of what Britain is
like. People are sold an idea,
normally through the media, about
immigrants coming here taking jobs
and housing at the reality is
completely different. Lots of
immigrants work hard and are doing
jobs. My whole family are working in
the NHS and my brother is a junior
doctor. The other point about this
that we cannot cover in this
segment, I find the irony of Britain
being annoyed about people coming to
their country and taking their
resources when the richness of this
country is built on centuries of the
British Empire going to other
countries and ignoring borders,
ignoring people, taking money.
we go, let's drag up 250 years of
Why should we?
And beat the
people who I think made this country
The British Empire?
welcoming and safe place on the
whole for migrants.
Empire that killed millions of
We will all go back and
apologise for everything all the way
This is a key part. You cannot
just ignore. If you want to be
magician is now the culture
Are we talking about
politicians trying to re-engage with
a whole swathe of the country that
has disengaged and thinks all
politicians are self-serving liars?
That's what this report tells us. I
actually think the politicians are
missing a trick.
What to do politicians do with this
now? You can hear clear divide
between how people perceive the same
sort of grievances or injustices. If
you were a politician saying how do
we make them both happy?
really striking for me is there was
a lot of conversation around
intergenerational warfare between
the young and the old, this primary
skills in our society. I think what
this shows is even amongst the older
generation, there are very clear
conflicts here. There are the people
who are sort of willing, if not
enthusiastic about embracing change
and handing over to the next
generation, and then there are the
people who continue to see
themselves as the dominant and
authentic voice of British values in
the heart of Britain and are very
actively resistant to change. I
think it is the political decisions
about whether to favour or to try
and reconcile these two or to take
leadership to take us in a
completely different direction which
will ultimately define where we go.
Or at least recognise the concerns.
Recognise the concerns that it
undermines the issue when the media
have put the blame on immigrants.
think that suits your agenda.
will have you back for the next
report. And even after the
watershed, I have to apologise and
say we're not allowed to swear
unless I warn you first.
Over five billion journeys
are made by bus each year.
By contrast only around 250 million
journeys are made on trains.
But in terms of political fallout -
even though most of our rail system
has long been privatised -
when the trains fail it's
the government that has
to justify its handling
of the network.
It got it in the neck today
from the National Audit Office
over the way it awarded
the Govia Thameslink franchise.
It comes soon after the Transport
Secretary Chris Grayling had
to answer questions over
the financial arrangements
of the East Coast franchise.
Today he said the companies
running the route are not
being given a bailout.
Despite the claims of the party
of the said this is not a bailout.
There is no viable legal
mechanism through which
I can extract any
more money from them.
My department is preparing
contingency plans, as we do not
believe the franchise will be
financially viable through to 2020.
I've clearly got a duty to do
that for passengers.
When we reach a conclusion
to that work I will come
back to this house
and make a statement.
So, what's going on on the railways?
Our business editor
Helen Thomas is here.
The East Coast specifically
referenced today. What happened?
Last November, the government said
the east Coast franchise which is a
joint venture between Stagecoach and
Virgin Group Woodend in 2020 which
is three years earlier than planned.
Stagecoach said they had over bid on
this contract. They had been too
aggressive and so critics have
called this a bailout and said it
should have been nationalised. The
government dispute that. They
concede the company have got their
numbers wrong because big
infrastructure and improvements have
not come through as expected, but
they say they will take 165 million
of the companies which was the full
guarantee that was baked into this
contract. It has set up an almighty
debate about rail franchising and
whether it is working at all.
terms of other franchises, where
does this leave the government?
amounts of debate about that in the
industry. Rail passenger numbers
have flat lined. They rose above 4%
on average each year since the
mid-90s and they flat lined in 2016
and the latest numbers show them
falling. The question is have other
companies got their numbers wrong?
Industry experts have said three
other franchises could face
difficulties, Northern, Greater
Anglia and trans-Pennine. Those
awarded around the 201516 period,
very competitive eating and before
this downturn. The company we have
spoken to, Abellio, the Dutch
company behind Greater Anglia say
they are confident of meeting their
targets and all three companies say
they are stressing and modernising
and adding capacity. There is a huge
ideological debate going on here.
Labour says privatisation has
failed. Industry would say passenger
traffic has doubled since the 90s.
In reality, these are not private
companies, these are huge government
contracts with lots of constipated
requirements in them. The question
is, who bears the risk when things
go wrong and that will always be
At the time of his death -
two years ago today -
David Bowie was collaborating
on a book including many previously
from his hugely successful
'Serious Moonlight' tour of 1983.
Bowie played to packed stadiums
around the world on the back
of his hit album Let's Dance.
And following him, both on-stage
and off, was British
photographer Denis O'Regan.
O'Regan's putting together a limited
edition boxed-set of 1,000 or so
photographs plus other
memorabilia, called Ricochet
for sale to collectors and Bowie
completists at a suitably starry
price of £3000.
A more affordable paperback
will also appear.
Denis O'Regan has been
telling Stephen Smith
about the thrills -
and the stills - of life on the road
with David Bowie.
MUSIC: Let's Dance
He would actively
want me to photograph
him the whole time.
We all queued up
for our bags and David
had his trolley, and of course
I didn't take any pictures
thinking this is boring.
But he and his PA said I think
you should be capturing this.
This isn't how you
normally see David.
I realised really quickly
that they wanted me to capture
virtually everything that he did.
MUSIC: Let's Dance
# Let's dance put on your red shoes
and dance the blues #
Arriving at the airport
surrounded as usual.
Denis O'Regan went round
the world with David Bowie.
Private jet, 5-star hotels, tough
job but somebody had to do it.
He was photographer by appointment
to the star on his all-conquering
tour of 1983.
MUSIC: Let's Dance
# Let's sway under the moonlight,
this serious moonlight #
The pair of them
already had history.
I met David outside Olympic Studios
in Barnes, West London
when he was recording Diamond Dogs.
And I was working in a newspaper
shop because I was still a teenager,
working in a newspaper shop across
And some girls came into the shop
giggling and asking to
For his autograph?
To get his autograph.
So I asked around and found
out that who it was.
So I went home, got my camera
and zipped back, got my uncle's
camera, actually, zipped back
and got some pictures of him walking
into the studio, and
then it was kind of,
hello, you should work for NME sort
of thing and that was our first
# You've got your mother
in a whirl
# She's not sure if you're
a boy or a girl #
Can I sit down here?
No, I can't.
I'll sit here then.
About two days ago EMI Records
phoned me up in Australia
and said, would I like to
take a 25 hour flight
back and come and sit in a room with
Over the last year I've completed an
album and single called Let's Dance,
and tomorrow tickets go on sale in
the UK, and in the next few days in
the rest of Europe for concert
MUSIC: Modern Love
# I catch a paper boy
# But things don't really change
# I'm standing in the wind
# But I never wave bye-bye #
Bowie didn't seem to mind
what pictures O'Regan took on
his Serious Moonlight tour.
He was more concerned
about the ones he missed.
The tour manager says,
"David wants to see you."
So I said OK, so I wander
down to the dressing room
and as I opened
up the dressing room
door David was facing me
and the make-up girl
was behind me
and I saw from her look that I was
obviously in trouble for something.
And David said, "Did you get it?"
And I said, "well, get what?"
And he said, "Get out of my sight."
So I still didn't
know what I'd missed.
Of course, it turned out he'd got
hugely mobbed at the backstage door
and I wasn't there.
To make up for that actual
instance, David rented a car
and organised a picnic and drove me
and two other friends out for a
picnic that he'd arranged in a
wildlife nature reserve.
The man off-stage was very different
to the persona that I'd seen of
David Bowie on stage, which was very
cool and detached, which is the very
opposite of David.
He's very warm, funny,
He laughed a huge, huge amount.
Is that anywhere near accurate?
Absolutely nowhere near accurate.
Can you give us a more
Of course not!
I could do a book of David laughing.
You mean shots of him?
He laughed, onstage
he laughed a lot because he
didn't have to play the Thin White
Duke or Ziggy Stardust anymore.
So, he was allowed
to laughed onstage.
But he laughed all the time
off stage as well.
It's what he really
wanted to spend his time
doing, was having fun.
It was one of Bowie's
biggest tours in support of
a massive hit record.
But is it true that he didn't
care for it overmuch?
He was really, really proud of it.
He was proud of the album, proud of
the tour, proud of the show,
and also it made him hugely rich.
In the context then
when he looked back and
put that into the context of
everything else he did it obviously
wasn't as mean and dirty and culty
as some of the other things
And to then look back and call
it his Phil Collins period.
Is that what he described it as?
Yeah, later on.
20 years later it suddenly
became his Phil Collins period.
But at the time it was his peak.
I think now in a world
where everything is
so visual it's inconceivable that
you become a star without the visual
aspect, it's perhaps hard for us
to recognise that when Bowie started
in the late 60s that this was less
of a concept and he was very,
very early on to that idea of fusing
the visual and the music.
He knew how important image was.
# Just like that bluebird #
Once so accessible, the star became
more reclusive in latter
years, following health problems.
But O'Regan said he never stopped
wanting to be David Bowie.
He'd made mistakes but
he learned from those mistakes,
and some of those mistakes
and less popular parts of
his career became part of that
tapestry, part of that timeline.
I think he was happy with that.
I think he was very happy
with being David Bowie.
But he wanted to be
David Jones as well.
It's very difficult
for someone as famous as
him and so distinctive, but he
managed to disappear when he wanted
# Ain't that just like me #
Steven Smith and David Bowie who
died two years ago today. That is
all we have time for tonight. Good
night from all of us.