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My first Oscar nomination
Ken Adam Artist
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It was the first time I really was able to let myself go. And, you know, we're making it at MGM studios here and they had a very famous art director, probably the most famous one, also German, Alfred Junge – who got to know me, and sort of took me under his wing. He had also – with Hein Heckroth – designed The Red Shoes. I don't know if you ever saw that one. So they were really the top and much to my surprise I got my first Oscar nomination... 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: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, The Red Shoes, Alfred Junge, Hein Heckroth

Duration: 43 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 14 September 2011