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Edwina Currie was born in Liverpool and graduated from Oxford and London Universities. She taught economics and economic history and was a tutor for the Open University. Birmingham City Councillor (1975-1986), Chairman of Central Birmingham Health Authority and served as MP for South Derbyshire from1983 - 1997.
Edwina is a well known broadcaster and author. She writes regularly for the national press and magazines. She has written several books, including “Life Lines” published in 1989, on her time as Health Minister. “What Women Want” on women’s roles and “Three Line Quips” witticisms from the House of Commons.
Her first novel “A Parliamentary Affair” went to Number 1 in the best-seller lists and has sold over 250,000 copies in English and been translated into German, Italian, Polish and Russian. Her second “A Woman’s Place” (1996) and third “She’s Leaving Home” (1997) set in her native Liverpool, were also best-sellers. The fourth novel “The Ambassador” a tongue-in-cheek look at the world in the near future. Her books are borrowed over 100,000 times a year from libraries. Her novel “Chasing Men” appeared in February 2000.
Edwina presents her own programme “Late Night Currie” for BBC Radio Five Live. She is also frequently heard on Radio 4 and Radio 2. On television she has presented “Sunday Supplement” for central TV and “Espresso” for Channel 5, “Menu from Heaven” for ITV in April/May 1998 and her BBC daytime TV series “What Now”.
From 1985-86 Edwina was PPS (aide) to Sir Keith Joseph at the Department of Education and science from 1986-88 she was a government minister at the DHSS (later the Department of Health) under Margaret Thatcher. She resigned after warning about food safety in eggs. John Major invited her to rejoin the government in 1992 but she declined. She lost her seat in the 1997 General Election.
A pro-European, in June 1994 she was a candidate for the European Parliament for Beds and Milton Keynes. The Conservatives won 18 out of 87 seats and she was not returned. 1995 - 1997 Edwina was Chairman of the Conservative Group for Europe and 1995 – 1999 was vice chairman of the all-party European Movement.
She has been the subject of several full-length documentary profiles including “The Other Half” (1984 John Pitman), Channel 4 “Dispatches” (1989 Michael Cockerell), “Vanessa’s Day with…..” (1997 Vanessa Feltz). She frequently appears on other radio and TV stations.
December 1988 Edwina Currie was runner-up to Mrs Thatcher in BBC Radio 4’s “Woman of the Year” poll; the following year she came sixth in the same poll (between Mother Theresa and Raisa Gorbachev). In 1990 she was voted “Speaker of the Year” by the Association of Speakers’ Clubs and 1994 was chosen as “Campaigner of the Year” in The Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards for her work on homosexual equality.
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