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Margaret Thatcher: Britain's Iron Lady

Broadcaster Barbara Frum pioneered a tough interview style on CBC Radio's As it Happens and later on CBC Television's The Journal. Whether she was talking to Nelson Mandela, Harold Ballard or the grower of the world's biggest cabbage, Frum's unrelenting curiosity, her fearless search for the truth, and her empathy and humour made her one of Canada's most important broadcasters.

It is one of Barbara Frum's most combative interviews for The Journal: her conversation with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Frum had meticulously prepared for the interview with the "Iron Lady" by watching Thatcher skewer a British journalist. Despite Frum's preparation and determination to not let the interview get away from her, Thatcher ends up bullying Frum as well.

The Journal's executive producer Mark Starowicz would later recall how the two women instantly disliked each other.
As evident in the clip, there is no love lost between these two powerful women. The tension is thick, the mood is hostile and both sides are out for blood. It makes for an unforgettable interview.
• Barbara Frum's son David Frum is a well-known conservative commentator. He served as speechwriter to President George W. Bush in 2001-2002 and is the author of Dead Right and The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush.
• Barbara Frum described herself as a "50s small-l liberal." -- Barbara Frum: A Daughter's Memoir by Linda Frum.
Medium: Television
Program: The Journal
Broadcast Date: Sept. 27, 1983
Guest(s): Margaret Thatcher
Interviewer: Barbara Frum
Duration: 16:14

Last updated: April 15, 2013

Page consulted on July 26, 2013

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