Can anyone help me find Leslie Smith of the BBC?
This is a cry for help (again!). I'm trying to write up some of the work I did on Moses Finley's journalism. In particular, I'm hoping to put my paper into the published conference proceedings. But the best idea would be to publish with it a couple of Finley's unpublished radio talks or discussions, preserved in the BBC archive, because they really do add something to the basic story.
This isn't so difficult to organise if it is a simple talk by Finley himself (and I've got my eye on one of those). Then you just have to get permission from Finley's literary executors (and I'm optimistic on that one). It's more complicated if anyone else speaks in the broadcast, even if only to ask the questions, because then you have to get their permission too, or that of their heirs. Or you can omit their contributions entirely from the published version, which rather spoils the conversational feel in an interview.
Anyway, I am wanting to reprint an interview with Finley from an early 1960s BBC radio series, called "Born Elsewhere". It was a series of interviews with Brits who had been, as the title implies, born outside the UK. It was part of what was no doubt a noble BBC initiative to help us start thinking about multi-culturalism, diversity etc. The trouble is that I need to get the permission of the interviewer, Leslie Smith -- or his living representatives.
It is hard to find much about Smith. It seems that his most famous interview was with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1969, and he did a variety of interviews in the 50s and 60s (including a BBC programme abour radio and tv interviews in 1961: "Invitation to Speak"). The BBC archive knows that he once lived in Bexhill-on-Sea. But that is about it.
My resourceful assistant, who used to work for the BBC, has posted a query on the BBC ex-employees message-board, but no leads yet. Meanwhile we've been trawling Bexhill-on-Sea websites. This produced a Leslie Smith who was in St Vincent's care home in Bexhill in 2007, with a daughter called Lyn Edwards. But then Leslie Smith isn't that uncommon a name . . . so maybe there's no connection.
If anyone is reading this who remembers Leslie Smith of the BBC, or has any lead to his family, do let me know. I'd be so grateful.