The view from abroad

BBC History Magazine - - Tv & Radio -

As Oth­ers See Us RA­DIO Ra­dio Four Sched­uled for Mon­day 31 De­cem­ber

How does the rest of the world see Great Bri­tain? As the coun­try’s place in the world comes un­der scru­tiny in the wake of the Brexit vote, Neil Mac­Gre­gor vis­its five coun­tries – Ger­many, In­dia, Egypt, Nige­ria and Canada – to as­sess how lead­ing po­lit­i­cal, busi­ness and cul­tural fig­ures in these na­tions per­ceive us.

His­tory is in­trin­sic to the dis­cus­sions that Mac­Gre­gor, for­mer di­rec­tor of the Bri­tish Mu­seum, has as he meets in­di­vid­u­als such as Wole Soyinka, the first African No­bel Lau­re­ate for Lit­er­a­ture; Chrys­tia Free­land, Canada’s min­is­ter of for­eign af­fairs; and Shobana Kami­neni, first fe­male pres­i­dent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­tries.

Some of the mem­o­ries they share – of read­ing Charles Dick­ens or watch­ing Monty Python’s Fly­ing Cir­cus – are pos­i­tive, but these are cit­i­zens of coun­tries where Bri­tish in­flu­ence hasn’t al­ways been be­nign. “We found a quirky but ex­tremely well-in­formed mix of af­fec­tion and ad­mi­ra­tion, ir­ri­ta­tion and be­wil­der­ment,” says Mac­Gre­gor of his in­ter­vie­wees’ at­ti­tudes to Bri­tain.

Neil Mac­Gre­gor in con­ver­sa­tion with Em­manuel Macron and An­gela Merkel. His new se­ries ex­plores how other coun­tries view Bri­tain and its his­tory

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