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From friendly aliens to enemy aliens


Life at St Paul's school
Ken Adam Artist
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I very much enjoyed my schooling at St Paul's because it was a very liberal-minded school, and of course sports were very important, which we didn't have at the Französisches Gymnasium in Berlin, but in many ways it was… it had a similar standard of teaching and education as the school I had left in Berlin. Of course, I had to learn English, but I was very attracted to the British way of sportsmanship and all that. I mean it came… it was fantastic, and we used to play games, and... I was never a great soccer player or rugger player, you know. The first time I was hurt in rugby I had enough, you know! But... and I did fencing too, for St Paul's, and it was... all that and the extraordinary high standard of teachers who became your friends, really, was... something which was wonderful and very similar to that very special school that we had been in Berlin, you see.

Sir Kenneth Adam (1921-2016), OBE, born Klaus Hugo Adam, was a production designer famous for his set designs for the James Bond films of the 1960s and 1970s. Initially, he trained as an architect in London, but in October 1943, he became one of only two German-born fighter pilots to fly with the RAF in wartime. He joined 609 Squadron where he flew the Hawker Typhoon fighter bomber. After the war, he entered the film industry, initially as a draughtsman on This Was a Woman. His portfolio of work includes Barry Lyndon and The Madness of King George; he won an Oscar for both films. Having a close relationship with Stanley Kubrick, he also designed the set for the iconic war room in Dr Strangelove. Sir Ken Adam was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: St Paul's School, Französisches Gymnasium, Berlin

Duration: 1 minute, 45 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 15 August 2011