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Hostage In Beirut

On Radio 4 the interviewer Sue MacGregor interviewed John McCarthy, Brian Keenan and Terry Waite - all of whom where kidnapped at various points and held hostage in Beirut in the 1990s.

John McCarthy was a BBC journalist and Brian Keenan was a teacher in the International School in Beirut.

John McCarthy was held in solitary confinement for four months and then was in a cell with Brian Keenan and they then spent the next four years together.

Terry Waite was an envoy for the Archbishop of Canterbury and he was himself a hostage negotiator until he was taken captive.

He was held for over four years in solitary confinement and then another year or more with John McCarthy and Brian Keenan before they were all released, one after another.

Terry Waite described how, when he was in solitary confinement, he eventually was able to ask one of the guards to let him have a book to read.

The man spoke no English and brought him Great Escapes, a title which Terry Waite thought was funny but not a book he wanted to read.

So he asked the guard for another book, and the guard brought him The Manual of Breast Feeding.

And at that moment in the radio programme, John McCarthy and Brian Keenan chimed in together excitedly with “We had that too!"

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