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It's My Story

Broadcast on BBC Radio 4

Monday 23 February 2009

The Boxing Civil Servant

Last year, Miranda Carter, a high-flying civil servant at the Department for Transport, astonished friends and family when she announced that she was applying for a licence as a boxing promoter.

By day she continues to work in the ordered corridors of power in Whitehall. But in the evenings and at weekends she mixes with the raucous boxing crowd of York Hall, Bethnal Green, in the East End of London.

In The Boxing Civil Servant, journalist Jackie Ashley tells the story of how her close friend took up a new career in her fifties. Jackie explores how Miranda reconciles two very different worlds and asks what the boxing fraternity make of Miranda's venture into their territory.

Jackie follows her friend's progress through her first promotions and tries to understand what is driving Miranda's ambition to succeed in such a male-dominated environment.

Miranda says she can't understand why boxing isn't more popular – it's got drama, action and suspense, just like theatre or opera. She's prepared to risk thousands of pounds to prove that boxing can appeal to the middle classes. But perhaps Miranda's biggest challenge is convincing Jackie, her friend of more than 30 years, that boxing is indeed the new opera for austerity Britain.

Producer/Richard Clemmow