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9/11 memories: Joan Bakewell

We asked a broadcaster: where were you on 9/11?

I walked into the entrance hall of the BBC's Broadcasting House. We were about to record an edition of The Brains Trust. But something was odd. People were standing around stock still and looking in the same direction. My eyes followed theirs. They - we - were all watching a television screen set up in the reception area.

There appeared to have been a major accident: a plane had crashed into one of New York's twin towers. Heavens, it wasn't long ago I had been having a drink there in the bar at the top of the building. The lift to the top had taken ages, and there had been something spooky about being at such a height yet still grounded: from the bar, we had looked down on planes coming in to land at New York's airports. Now it seemed one of them had gone astray and crashed into the tower. Moments passed as people rumbled their shock and distress. But then they froze. Another plane had crashed and the world had changed.

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This article first appeared in the 05 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, 9/11