Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is the broadcaster Gloria Hunniford. She’s one of our most popular interviewers and presenters and for 40 years has been a warm, but always incisive, figure on our radio and television airwaves. She grew up in Northern Ireland and first of all thought her career lay in singing – as a young girl she would spend several evenings each week singing in local church halls. Although she moved in to broadcasting, those early years lay the foundation for the success and gave her a confidence performing in front of a crowd and a genuine interest in people and their lives.
She was among the vanguard of women who tried to have it all – to combine motherhood with a fulfilling career. Her eldest daughter, Caron Keating, followed her into the profession and shared Gloria’s ready warmth and wit. But Caron was just 41 when she died from breast cancer and Gloria’s moving account of her experiences has now touched tens of thousands of people.