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Michael Davie, 6 June 1985

The Airman and the Carpenter: The Lindbergh Case and the Framing of Richard Hauptmann 
by Ludovic Kennedy.
Collins, 438 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 0 00 217060 4
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... of them all. It is a sign of the passing of time that on the dustjacket of this book the name of Ludovic Kennedy is five times bigger than Lindbergh’s. Half a century ago, nobody’s name was bigger than Lindy’s. Lindbergh was born in Little Falls, Minnesota, the son of a Congressman; his parents parted when he was 14. He left school at 16, learned ...

On my way to the Couch

E.S. Turner, 30 March 1989

On my way to the Club 
by Ludovic Kennedy.
Collins, 429 pp., £15, January 1989, 0 00 217617 3
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... The title of this book comes from a television critic’s shrewd observation: ‘Whenever I see Mr Ludovic Kennedy in a television studio, he gives me the impression that he has been good enough to drop by to see if he can lend a hand while on the way to the club.’ A comparable judgment, also quoted in the book, appeared in the Times after Mr Kennedy had interviewed a nervous Cardinal Hume: ‘By his assurance, condescension, ease of posture and conversational initiative, Mr Kennedy might just as well have been a bishop testing a candidate for ordination ...


Alan Bennett: Postscript, 19 February 2004

... She needs to be watched: she may be a weasel in talcum powder. One person who saw it coming was Ludovic Kennedy who, hearing Hutton named to head the inquiry, correctly predicted the outcome. I looked up the judge, then Sir Brian Hutton, in Kennedy’s Thirty-Six Murders, where he pinpoints one of Hutton’s ...

Huw should be so lucky

Philip Purser, 16 August 1990

Sir Huge: The Life of Huw Wheldon 
by Paul Ferris.
Joseph, 307 pp., £18.99, June 1990, 0 7181 3464 8
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... of this biography, and brought such champions of Wheldon’s reputation as Sir Denis Forman, Ludovic Kennedy and Melvyn Bragg trumpeting into the field. In common with other young men of his generation (he was born in 1916), Wheldon was slow to come to terms with his sexual drive. Sent to stay with a Westphalian family and learn German during the ...

Cod on Ice

Andy Beckett: The BBC, 10 July 2003

Panorama: Fifty Years of Pride And Paranoia 
by Richard Lindley.
Politico’s, 404 pp., £18.99, September 2002, 1 902301 80 3
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The Harder Path: The Autobiography 
by John Birt.
Time Warner, 532 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 316 86019 0
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... between six and eight million people … The current muster has Robin Day, tenacious as a badger; Ludovic Kennedy, whose line is artistic, faintly raffish melancholy; James Mossman, the ardent Galahad who will never take for granted that men are sometimes wicked on purpose; Robert Kee, the hot-eyed public prosecutor … When John Birt arrived at the BBC ...

In Memoriam

Paul Sieghart, 19 March 1981

by Mandy Rice-Davies and Shirley Flack.
Joseph, 224 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 7181 1974 6
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... had gone very wrong indeed, though what it was remained at first curiously elusive. It was Ludovic Kennedy, in The Trial of Stephen Ward (Gollancz, 1964), who first put his finger on it. With blinding insight, he reminded us that, in a country that values its liberties, the function of the police is to investigate known crimes, and to discover the ...


Chris Mullin: In Court, Again, 7 April 2022

... set aside for so-called ‘distinguished observers’. I sat there day after day in the company of Ludovic Kennedy, the doyen of miscarriages of justice cases; Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich, the archbishop of Armagh; and a revolving cast of politicians and clergymen from both sides of the Irish Sea. At one point even the archbishop of New York was ...


Paul Foot: The Buttocks Problem, 5 September 1996

... said the chairman of the school’s finance committee, ‘but of course there was nothing.’ Ludovic Kennedy, whose daughter went to Fettes in the Trench years, has revealed that his floggings grew in intensity as the years went on. Often, in desperation, Trench picked out wholly innocent boys for beating. He became ill and resorted increasingly to ...

Time for Several Whiskies

Ian Jack: BBC Propaganda, 30 August 2018

Auntie’s War: The BBC during the Second World War 
by Edward Stourton.
Doubleday, 422 pp., £20, November 2017, 978 0 85752 332 7
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... 1949. Those with false recollections of listening to it nine years before included the broadcaster Ludovic Kennedy (‘When we heard it, we knew in an instant that everything would be all right’) and a chairman of the BBC, Marmaduke Hussey. The day after Churchill didn’t make his speech on the radio, J.B. Priestley did make one. On 5 June, the Home ...

Poor Stephen

James Fox, 23 July 1987

An Affair of State: The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward 
by Phillip Knightley and Caroline Kennedy.
Cape, 268 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 224 02347 0
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Honeytrap: The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward 
by Anthony Summers and Stephen Dorril.
Weidenfeld, 264 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 297 79122 2
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... Only reporters who had attended the trial, and members of the judiciary, knew the extent of it. Ludovic Kennedy’s book The Trial of Stephen Ward came out the following year and expressed their indignation. But there was a lot that Kennedy and others didn’t know. Phillip Knightley, who wrote an excellent book ...

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