I asked him: If you knew then what you know now about the effects of the Pill, would you have said 'I think we'll give this one a miss'?
"Absolutely not. I would do exactly the same again." As for the side-effects, he said, it was a case of Catch 22: the only way to test its long-term safety was to let women take it for years. His regret is that research into contraception has dried up, denying women a wider choice of methods.
And its effect on the sexual revolution?
"I would say it's a grey issue. It's simplistic to say the Pill caused it. There was rock and roll culture, and the rest of it.
'I would be in favour of the Pill being available without prescription. There is no medical reason why not. For healthy young women, oral contraceptives are of such low risk now I would make the case that they should be available over the counter.'