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No urge to be a director
Ken Adam Artist
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[Q] Did you want to be a director ever?

No, I never wanted to be a director. I enjoyed too much what I was doing and I felt I could… my... my best contribution in... in my way to a film. I felt as a director, to be an average director or something like that, was not my ambition, you know. And it's great when you work with a good team of people, and it can be a lot of fun, but physically you have to be in shape too, you know.

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: Film director, ambition

Duration: 1 minute, 12 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 11 November 2011