Libby Purves invites Gina on to her BBC Midweek Show today to discuss her new book Daughter of Bluebird and, as it’s Halloween the conversation naturally turns to ghosts… Gina admits to being a pragmatist where ghosts are concerned, but reveals to Libby that her father was a great believer in spiritualism and that her step mother was once pulled out of a dreadful skid in her car by the hands of her father taking the wheel to pull the car to safety.
She tells Libby that, during the 34-year wait to find her father, the broadcaster Melvyn Bragg persuaded her (against her better judgement) to get into a boat on Coniston Water for the first time since Donald’s fatal crash. Each time that Gina stepped onto the boat, a tempest descended suddenly over the calm of the lake. After three attempts to sail, Melvyn finally turned to Gina to admit: “It appears that we’re not wanted here!”
She confesses that Donald saw himself as invincible and never believed that he would end his days in Bluebird and also talks to Libby about her emotionless relationship with an unloving mother.
Fellow guests on the show this Halloween are: journalist and writer Roger Clarke, author of A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proof ; Rod Davis, one of the original members of the Quarrymen, a skiffle group formed by John Lennon; and playwright Jonathan Lewis, who swapped military training at Sandhurst for the theatre. Jonathan’s play Our Boys, based on his time spent in a military hospital, is playing at London’s Duchess Theatre.
You can listen to the whole show again on line at Radio 4