Walking with Destiny: Winston Churchill becomes prime minister in May 1940

In seventy two hours in the middle of May 1940, Britain’s political leadership was transformed. Out went the undistinguished, dithering government led by Neville Chamberlain, known for its failed policy of appeasement. It was replaced by a new regime of ‘growling defiance’, headed by the pugnacious and polarising Winston Churchill.

This political change coincided with the NAZI ‘blitzkrieg’ invasion of western Europe. In this latest episode of Travels Through Time, the historian and biographer Andrew Roberts takes us back to those tense and dramatic days, 8-10 May 1940. We watch as Chamberlain suffers the humiliation of the Norway Debate in the House of Commons and as he attempts to cling to power in Number Ten Downing Street the following day.

On 10 May 1940 Churchill was summoned to meet King George VI. This event, Andrew Roberts argues, Churchill had foreseen as he destiny many decades before.

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Scene One: The Norway Debate, the House of Commons, 7-8 May 1940

Scene Two: Number Ten Downing Street, 9 May 1940

Scene Three: Buckingham Palace, 10 May 1940

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Andrew Roberts’s website: https://www.andrew-roberts.net/

Churchill: Walking with Destiny: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/284916/churchill/9780241205631.html

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Presenter: Peter Moore

Guest: Andrew Roberts

Producer: Maria Nolan

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