Dame Esther Rantzen: ‘Nicolas Winton film moved me to tears’

Posted on July 30, 2023



Dame Esther Rantzen has said a new film about “British Schindler” Nicholas Winton moved her to tears.

The television presenter, who recently revealed that she had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, brought the Jewish stockbroker’s remarkable story to light in 1988.

Forty nine years earlier, Winton had abandoned a planned skiing holiday to travel to Prague and help evacuate refugees.

Aware that tragedy was looming as the Nazis began to occupy the country, he travelled back to Britain to lobby the government to accept more Jewish children.

After the war, Winton moved on with his life and his story was largely forgotten until Dame Esther invited him onto That’s Life!

As he sat in the front row, she asked the audience if anyone had been saved by him, and dozens of people stood up.

When Dame Esther asked if anyone was a child or grandchild of one of the children brought to England thanks to Winton, the entire audience rose.

The account of how Winton helped 669 Jewish children escape will now be dramatised in a new film starring Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn.

“Of all the literally thousands of stories we told in the 21 years of That’s Life, the one that showed the very best and the very worst of humanity was the revelation that Nicky Winton had saved a generation of Czech Jewish children from the Holocaust,” she told The Telegraph.

“I was worried about a feature film’s treatment. My fears were unjustified.

“From the moment I saw Anthony Hopkins looking and sounding almost exactly like Sir Nicholas, I knew the story would be told sensitively and accurately.”

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