Episode 32: Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Spinning Plates with Sophie Ellis-Bextor

By Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Episode 32: Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Monday, 14 June

Helle Thorning-Schmidt was the Prime Minister of Denmark from 2011 to

2015. She was the first female leader of the Danish Social Democrats

and the first female PM. I think she should wear that as a slogan on

a T-shirt! She lives in London with her husband, MP Stephen Kinnock,

while their two daughters, now in their early 20s, live in Copenhagen.

We talked about how Helle managed to juggle work and home-life, first

as a busy MEP with small children, and then as the mum of teenagers

when she was Prime Minister. Over the course of our conversation we

uncovered her obsessions with jigsaws and transport. We talked about

how she has been a feminist since the age of 12. And she shared her

positive mantra, which saw her through her time as chief executive of

Save the Children, that things are generally getting better, and that

we should always listen to young people. Her energy and positivity is

inspiring and infectious.

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