"Hairy Cornflake" was Suu Kyi`s lifeline

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 18:38

Nay Pyi Taw: Myanmar`s iconic
pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said that the
soothing tones of a British DJ nick-named "Hairy Cornflake"
acted as her lifeline during years of house arrest.

The 66-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has spent
15 years under house arrest since 1989, said the music show
presented by DJ Dave Lee Travis had made her "world much more
complete".

Travis, who presented the music request programme `A
Jolly Good Show` on BBC World Service from 1981-2001, said he
was "touched" that she remembered it. In 2001, the show was
axed.

"I think it`s rather nice - and it came as a pleasant
surprise to me - that a leader of a country in the world,
especially one that`s been very repressed, listened to my
programme, to get a bit of jollity in her life," he said.

In the 1970s, Travis adopted the on-air nickname of
"The Hairy Monster", but changed this to "The Hairy Cornflake"
when he started presenting BBC Radio 1`s Breakfast Show.

Suu Kyi, who was released in November last year by
Myanmar`s military junta, also said she felt "very sorry"
about cuts to the BBC World Service.

Suu Kyi, who is due to give two of the BBC`s Reith
Lectures - which have been secretly recorded - told the Radio
Times: "I used to listen to all sorts of different programmes,
not just classical music. I can`t remember... the name of that
programme... Dave Travis? Was it?"

After interviewer Eddie Mair, who presents BBC Radio
4`s PM programme, asked if she meant Dave Lee Travis, Suu Kyi
said: "Yes! Didn`t he have a programme with all different
sorts of music?

"I would listen to that quite happily because the
listeners would write in and I had a chance to hear other
people`s words."

The long-time campaigner for civil rights and freedom
of speech in Myanmar said those under house arrest listened to
the radio much more - and much more carefully - than the
average person "because that`s really our only line to the
outside world".

She said the BBC World Service had enabled her to be
"in touch with everything... with culture, with art, with
books, with music".

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 18:38

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