Bank of England's King plans to waltz into the sunset

Sat Jun 1, 2013 7:05pm EDT
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By David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) - Dance lessons are one of Bank of England Governor Mervyn King's few clear plans for his retirement when he steps down later this month after 20 years at the Bank of England.

In a rare personal interview to be broadcast later on Sunday, the 65-year-old, who was previously a professor at the London School of Economics, expressed sadness that his focus on work had damaged his private life.

"The career always came first. That was probably a mistake," he said when asked if he regretted not having children and only marrying in 2007.

King rarely speaks about his personal life, though his passion for cricket and soccer team Aston Villa is well-known.

However he opened up in an interview with BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, a British broadcasting institution in which public figures discuss their lives and the eight pieces of music they would wish to listen to if stranded on a desert island.

King's top pick was "My Ship" from the 1941 musical Lady in the Dark by composer Kurt Weill and lyricist Ira Gershwin.

The song was played at his wedding to Barbara Melander, a university sweetheart who he lost touch with when she returned home to Finland, and then reconnected with later in life.

Ever the economist, King partly blamed the heavily regulated nature of the international telephony market in the 1970s for him and Melander drifting apart.   Continued...

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King speaks to reporters at the close of the G7 Finance Ministers and central bank governors summit at Hartwell House in Aylesbury, southern England May 11, 2013. REUTERS/Yui Mok/POOL