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tv   Meet the Author  BBC News  November 18, 2017 10:45pm-11:01pm GMT

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know why it was a universal i know why it was a universal benefit, lots of these universal benefits have been good since the end of the war, but we cannot afford for middle classes to be getting the amount of money out of the state, including me. very quickly, one last one, the sunday telegraph front page, a picture of a smiling couple 70 years married. what do you think? ask her, she is a royalist! i am not! i think the queen has done a brilliantjob. not! i think the queen has done a brilliant job. one of not! i think the queen has done a brilliantjob. one of the brilliant jobsis brilliantjob. one of the brilliant jobs is she and the duke of edinburgh have stayed married for 17 years. that is an achievement. but lots of other couples do. not as many as they used to. that generation. will see of the next generation. will see of the next generation can keep it up. they can't, they went! thank you very much. —— they won't. that's it for the papers this hour. thank you eve and yasmin — you'll both be back at 11.30
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for another look at the stories making the news tomorrow. coming up next — meet the author. chris bonington's name is synonymous with british climbing. the daring, the concentration, perhaps even the obsession. certainly, the adventure. now in his 805, he's called his memoir ascent, the story of a fascination with high, wild places, and the mountains that have always called him upwards. four ascents of everest and a personal story, too, of a marriage that lasted more than 50 years. welcome. you're in your 80s now, chris, but the urge to climb, to go to the wild places, seems as strong as ever. it's neverfaded has it? no, it's every bit as strong, but
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the body is not quite so willing. so, no, now... when i go climbing, i love climbing, but the best of climbing was when you were just drifting up climbs, at the height of your powers, if you like. and now, you know, i creak up climbs. you've lost that kind of sensual, athletic kind ofjoy and pleasure, and it becomes more the people with whom you're climbing and the place you're in, the surroundings. and visiting places that you've known all your life, peaks where you know almost every stone, every track, the lake district for example. in this country anyway. but no, even, in the himalayas i still love to go trekking but in the last few years, actually, my kind of treks and climbs have been actually going off, trekking up valleys, hopefully where not many people had ever been before. you're not going
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to see any tourists. which have a nice little dead easy peak at the end of them, which is probably about 5000 metres high, but it's never been climbed. and i go climbing. the thing about going to places which haven't been conquered, or at least you think... conquered is a horrible word. it is a horrible word. i withdraw it. the gods allow you to reach the summit. you did climbs, as you described in the book, in the alps, that hadn't been done before as far as we know. and that urge to draw back the veil is a really powerful one, isn't it? well, yes, it's that exploratory sense, really. and i think the exploration has been a stronger thing in me as the physical pleasure of climbing. all the expeditions i've been to in the himalayas, all the peaks i've climbed, have been first ascents. the other only one that
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wasn't a first ascent was when i finally got up everest, when ijoined a norwegian expedition in 1985. and i actually got to the top by the south route. it was great. it was wonderful. but it's not quite the same as actually having made a first ascent. no, you describe many of those first ascents in the alps where you were really doing things that... as a boy you would just dream of. that was the thrill. i think it's a combination of that, but i think what i have done always is when i started climbing, i didn't have a burning ambition to climb mount everest. i was just absolutely filled with the joy of discovering rock climbing, hitchhiking up to snowdonia, hitchhiking up to the highlands, and my mum gave me £2 a week. and you could live on £2 a week in those days. stayed in youth hostels and didn't drink anything.
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and finding people to climb with. the fantastic adventures you had in those days. the near misses as well. but that was all part of it. then you slowly developed, you went to the alps, you went to the himalayas, you discovered you could lead expeditions and were actually interested in the whole business of logistics and leadership. so it's kind of an evolution, a development, as you go through life. the story of your life, as far as climbing is concerned, the camaraderie comes out very strongly. but there is of course another side to that, which is that if you are climb of the kind you've been, you are bound to lose friends rather regularly. people who don't make it. all too often. and i mean, if you think of it, all my big expeditions, annapurna south face we lost ian clough right at the end of the expedition. a fantastic friend. we'd done the north wall of the eiger together.
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then in 1975 nick burke, another great mate. 1978 on k2, nick escort, one of my dearest friends. then of course pete boardman and joe tasker. so yes, that loss of life is sad, but in a way it's something that i think you've got to accept if you're an extreme climber. and it still is... it's like going to war in a way. once again, you accept people are going to die around you. you regret them but you carry on. it's the same, where your love of climbing is so great, i never thought of giving up climbing. you remember very clearly, don't you, your first sight of everest. it must be quite a moment. it was a strange thing, i mean, whichjust made the first ascent of nuptse, the third peak of everest, which had been a desperate climb. an amazing trip in a way.
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we all got on incredibly badly together. with one or two exceptions. and somehow we actually pulled it off. i'll neverforget, as you climbed up this gully, on the south side of nuptse, which is the retaining wall of the western cwm of everest. so suddenly as you come up this gully, suddenly, you pop your head over the top and you're looking straight across the western cwm. and there is the south—west face of everest, black, veined in ice. it looks totally unattainable. but i wasn't that interested in it. because in those days, we were going to go back overland to europe. and i'd arranged to meet up with dom willens to attempt the north wall of the eiger. now at that time my horizons were not himalayan, even though i'd done two of the peaks. my horizons was climbing in the alps, and that what fuelled my ambition. and the north wall of the eiger, anybody who looks at it
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and is going off for a day of gentle skiing will think, how one earth could anybody go up that? you were telling me earlier, you've climbed the old man of hoy on the edge of the orkney islands. when you were 80. goodness me. climbing the old man of hoy when i was 80, we made the first attempt in 1966. with tom patey. very famous television... and rusty bailey. magnificent. the greatest television extravaganza of all time. the biggest outdoor broadcast ever as well. then it was leo holding, one of our brilliant young climbers, he was the youngest person ever to have climbed the old man of hoy and he's a good friend. it was his idea. he said, chris, let's go and do it together.
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i climbed it when i was 11, i'm quite sure you're going to be the oldest at 80. which i was. and so we got together and we did it. how did it feel at 80? it was tough, and i mean, tough for quite a few reasons. i mean, ijust lost wendy, my wife, to motor neurone disease. so i was very unfit because i'd spent a year caring for her. and i was heartbroken. and i think leo was pushing me as much as a kind of catharsis basically. and it was. so we got out and we did it. i'd pulled my back shortly before that anyway. and the moment we started climbing i realised this was not a good idea, but there was no way i was going to give up, so i climbed through the pain and got to the top. and i was pleased, you know, i had a good tight rope all the way. but i properly climbed it. and it was a brilliant feeling, actually getting to the top with a good friend. it gave a release that i needed. chris bonington, author of ascent, thank you very much. thank you.
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good evening. it has been a tale of two halves today. we have had the rather chilly damp and murky weather in the south. we had some lovely sunsets. under the starry skies, the frost is already forming. it will be a cold night in the countryside. in the south it will take time for the temperature to drop. we have the cold air undercutting this patchy rain. it could lead to some icy patches. in the south where we had that moisture, there could be some patchy fog around through the early hours of sunday morning. for many, it isa hours of sunday morning. for many, it is a cold, cold start to sunday morning. scraping the ice of the ca i’s morning. scraping the ice of the cars and there could be some fog for early morning travellers as well. for scotland, it
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seems more promising in terms of the wind will not be as strong. there will still be some winteriness over the hills. that. to come into northern and western fringes of the country as well. it looks dry across southern parts of england and wales compared with what we have seen today. the cloud is never too far away. there could be early morning fog. the rain could return to irish sea coasts and northern ireland into the afternoon, possibly western scotland. although there went be great amounts of rain, it will be grey and cold. further east, although the wind is not as strong as it has been today, it will nevertheless be pretty chilly. five and six at best at the most. even the sunshine is not helping much, despite the ridge of high pressure. that disappears as we get no pressure starting to roll into the atla ntic pressure starting to roll into the atlantic on monday morning. some snow on its northern edge. that could cause some disruption, especially first thing monday. then
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it looks like it will be swept away. mostly mild air over the hills. we have milder wind coming in off the atlantic. we will see temperatures rising. it will take time to warm up, particularly for scotland. that is because the cold air is not too far away. the mild air coming is because the cold air is not too faraway. the mild air coming in is because the cold air is not too far away. the mild air coming in off the atlantic does tend to win as we go into monday. will it last? at the moment, tuesday does look milder for most of us. potentially stormy later in the week. this is bbc news. i'm nicholas owen. the headlines at 11: police looking for 19—year—old gaia pope say a body has been found on land near swanage. her sister has been speaking to the media. she is — i'm not going to say
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was and i never will — the absolute light of my life. in zimbabwe, thousands take to the streets as president mugabe comes under pressure to quit — it's reported he will meet army commanders tomorrow. new zimbabwe, freedom has finally come. i don't know how to express it because i can't believe it, it's like i'm dreaming. after more than three decades in politics, gerry adams announces he will stand down as the president of sinn fein next year, saying it was "time for change".
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