Jim Naughtie talks to Alex Crawford

Alex Crawford opens with a stunningly frank and raw passage from her book Colonel Gadaffi’s Hat. With her colleagues and facing death in Libya she contemplates fear and regret thinks of family and friends then realises she has a phone signal “shit if we are going to die I’m going to let people know about it… I phone the office and ask to be put live on air.”

The war was ugly and disorganised. The rebel army didn’t even have a communications network at the beginning. Even the conclusion of the war was messy. After Alex Crawford had entered Green Square in Tripoli with the rebel army the fighting flared up again and Saif Gadaffi gave a defiant press briefing from the leader’s compound.

Amongst the horrific stories of witnessing brutal killing at the closest of quarters and losing “eleven of my nine lives” there is humour in a story about her family. Naughtie asks what she tells her children “well I did say to my one child that the children in Iraq would love to have the food on her plate ‘take it to them then’.”

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