Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 13th 2014 Contents A33
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Gerard Depardieu's starring role as a
disgraced politician based on
Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be
shown for the first time at the Cannes
The controversial Welcome to New
York has been much-anticipated but
will not be shown as part of the official
Instead, it will be shown at midnight
on Friday at a private beach screening.
It tells of how a French politician is
accused of attempted rape in a New
York hotel room.
Strauss-Kahn quit his role as boss of
the International Monetary Fund in
2011 after being accused of a sex
attack on a maid in a Manhattan hotel.
Once seen as a French presidential
hopeful, Socialist Strauss-Kahn also
had to give up his political ambitions.
Charges were eventually dropped
and Strauss-Kahn subsequently
reached a settlement with the maid.
Two other cases against him were also
dismissed. A series of lurid claims have
been made about Strauss-Kahn since
his arrest in New York. (BBC)
Throw your minds back to televi-
sion in T&T in the 70s and you may
remember the faces of Allyson Hen-
nessy, Judy Alcantara, Dale Kolasingh
and a young rising star Gail Bind-
ley-Taylor, a popular presenter of the
news programme Panorama.
Bindley-Taylor left T&T for a UN
job in 1982, and after working in sev-
eral positions in the UN, she retired
in May 2013. T&T Guardian recently
caught up with Bindley-Taylor while
she was on holiday here. She spoke
with PETER RAY BLOOD about her
UN career and plans for the future.
Prior to Gail Bindley-Taylor s time
at TTT, then the nation s only tele-
vision station, she worked with Radio
Trinidad as assistant to programme
director Gabriel Francis.
"I actually began in media in radio
in Guyana, at Radio Demerara, sister
station to Radio Trinidad as both
belonged to the Rediffusion Group of
Companies," revealed Bindley-Taylor.
She said: "Peter Hesketh, then
Radio Trinidad GM had also been GM
at Radio Demerara and worked with
Raffique Khan, programme director
of Radio Trinidad. I trained in Radio
Demerara having worked in the Cen-
tral Bank for two years."
Bindley-Taylor s first shift on local
radio was on Carnival Monday 1976,
the midday shift. She stayed at the
station for eight years.
"Peter Hesketh was also the person
responsible for me pursuing a Mass
Communication diploma in Jamaica
in 1979," continued Bindley-Taylor.
While in Jamaica, Bindley-Taylor pro-
duced a series of programmes on the
Manley-Seaga general elections in
Jamaica. She said: "Jamaica empow-
ered me with the ability to write and
produce my own programmes. When
Eric Williams died, I did a series on
his life, as well as covered the entire
event. This was a significant milestone
in my career."
Bindley-Taylor admits that a lot of
the information she utilised in the
early days of her career had come
through the UN Information Centre
(UNIC). She said: "My interaction
with UNIC was strengthened when
the head of the Caribbean Unit of UN
Radio in New York, Hazel Burnett,
came to Trinidad to do a programme
for UN Radio. She heard my work and
came to speak to me. Subsequently,
an advertisement was circulated for
the post of an English-speaking radio
producer from the Caribbean for UN
Radio. I was persuaded to apply."
After more than nine months Bind-
ley-Taylor was eventually recruited.
She said: "I got the job in December
1982 when someone resigned. I went
on as the associate writer/producer
for the Caribbean Unit on May 31,
1983, and remained in radio for almost
20 years. During those 20 years I also
did a lot of other things; once to serve
as vice-president of the NY staff
union of the UN. I subsequently served
as secretary of the staff union. That
was when UN General Secretary
Boutrous Boutrous-Ghali entered the
organisation. I also served in the front
office as an information officer in the
office of the Under Secretary General
of public information. There I was
involved with a lot more report writing
and working with the committee on
"The most interesting post for me
was working for the president of the
General Assembly. I got to brief the
international press daily, and I got
exposed to so much politically. A huge
deal then was the fight between
Venezuela and Uruguay for a rotating
seat on the Security Council."
Bindley-Taylor deems it intellectu-
ally rewarding to have worked with
four secretaries general of the UN.
She said: "I first met Kofi Annan when
I served as a staff representative in
the Department of Information. We
were in the middle of an industrial
upheaval at the time and Mr Annan
was then head of personnel and, as
a last resort, we asked him to inter-
vene, and he did.
"He brought sanity to the process.
I thought that he had such a strong
From T&T to
the UN and back
Cannes to screen Strauss-Kahn film
Gail Bindley-Taylor was a popular news and current affairs presenter on what was then the only channel, TTT.
PHOTO: MARK LYNDERSAY
Continues on Page A34
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