The Pendulum Years: Britain in the Sixties
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Levin was the subject of gossip column speculation in the early Seventies when he began a five-year relationship with author Arianna Stassinopoulous, a former president of the Cambridge Union and now, as Arianna Huffington, a US Republican politician. We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.
Levin gave the opening programmes a kindly review, but by the fourth day of commercial television he was beginning to baulk: "There has been nothing to get our teeth into apart from three different brands of cake-mix and a patent doughnut". He remained true to his declared intention of eschewing all forms of vehicular transport, and walked all the way, with the exception of his crossing the Rhone, rowing himself in a small boat. He fell more in love than ever before with Arianna Stassinopoulos (now Arianna Huffington, and a political commentator in California).Levin occupied a desk in the editor's outer office and the pair were in constant touch throughout the day. The first, Hannibal's Footsteps, screened in 1985, showed Levin walking the presumed route taken by Hannibal when he invaded Italy in 218 BC.
An extract from one of these reads, "Full details of the evidence I would blush to give; lest you should think, however, that I am exaggerating, I append a sample of the less disgusting matter: '. At concerts by the school orchestra (whose members included Levin's contemporary, Colin Davis), Levin listened seriously to music for the first time. He contrived to include in his index an obscene joke at the expense of the hapless prosecutor in the Chatterley trial, [n 10] but found the difficulty of indexing so great that he became a champion of the Society of Indexers.n 2] In The Guardian after Levin's death, Quentin Crewe wrote, "His illiterate grandparents' stories about life in Russia must have instilled in him the passionate belief in the freedom of the individual that lasted his whole life. His range was prodigious; he published nine volumes of his selected journalism of which the first, Taking Sides, covered subjects as diverse as the death watch beetle, Field Marshal Montgomery, Wagner, homophobia, censorship, Eldridge Cleaver, arachnophobia, theatrical nudity, and the North Thames Gas Board. In 1956, Levin found himself in irreconcilable disagreement with Truth's support of the Anglo-French military action in the Suez Crisis. The piece contains a further 55 phrases from Shakespeare familiar in regular conversation,  as well as one – "but me no buts" – misattributed to Shakespeare by Levin, but in fact from Susanna Centlivre's The Busie Body (1709), later used in Fielding's Rape upon Rape (1730) and popularised by Scott's The Antiquary (1816). The most famous byline in postwar British journalism, Bernard Levin, had been appearing less and less often in the pages from which he had thundered for 26 years.
Against that, Alan Wood feels that Insight gave him a measure of confidence, so that he was no longer so vulnerable and no longer shuddered when strangers approached him in the street. Philip Levin abandoned the family when Levin was a child,  and the two children were brought up with the help of their maternal grandparents, who had emigrated from Lithuania at the turn of the 20th century.
He had an exceptionally wide circle of friends who, for some reason, he kept in separate compartments, a characteristic common perhaps to bachelors. He came to fame with David Frost and Millicent Martin as a satirical commentator on the influential BBC television programme That Was The Week That Was.