Gerald was educated at Charterhouse and New College, Oxford. He joined the BBC in 1949 as a news sub-editor. He spent his first six months on a contract, writing obituaries. He apparently jokingly wrote his own obituary shortly before leaving the job, for a post as a sub-editor in the news gathering operation. In 1954, he was posted to the BBC’s office in New Delhi, as BBC Radio News foreign correspondent (1954 – 1958) – the youngest person to fill that role (at 26). His next assignment would take him to Washington, D.C. (1958 – 1960) where he was number two correspondent. More foreign assignments awaited: he was Beirut correspondent (1961), and would then go on to spend four years as the BBC’s Middle East correspondent. He then requested a transfer back to London as a television newsreader.

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Professor Khalid Aziz LVO, DL, FRSA was born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1953. His broadcasting career began at the BBC as a producer at BBC Radio Leicester (1969). He soon moved into TV reporting on the BBC’s Look North (1977 – 1979) and then became its youngest presenter (1979 – 1981), at the age of 24.  On 28th March 2008, he joined former presenter Sue Wilkins, along with current presenters Harry Gration and Christa Ackroyd for the programme’s 40th anniversary edition from the National Media Museum.

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John was born in Camberwell, south London. He was an evacuee during the early years of World War II and went to three different grammar schools before joining his parents in Bristol for his final school years at Cotham Grammar School. John left school at 16, to become a junior reporter with the Western Daily Press. At 18, he left to do two years of National Service and spoke into a microphone for the first time when he became a radio operator in the RAF, serving one year at RAF Seletar in Singapore. In autumn 1948, he returned to Bristol and joined the Western Daily Press and began to specialise in sport, reporting each week on Bristol Rovers. After doing a live commentary one Saturday for the newly created Hospital Radio Service, the BBC controller in West Region, the former war correspondent Frank Gillard, offered him a job, initially as a resident freelance, reporting and presenting the regional magazine The Week in the West.

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Barrie was born in Rotherham. He started out as a student broadcaster, before moving to BBC Local Radio. He trained as an announcer at BBC Television Centre, working on both BBC One and BBC Two. In 1979, he moved to BBC North in Leeds, as a regional TV announcer and newsreader.

After a reduction in regional presentation in the BBC English regions, Barrie switched channels, moving to Grampian TV in Aberdeen in 1980. There he had much the same role, being one of the line-up of staff announcers, who also read the news. Radio Aire, a new commercial radio station, approached him to join them as both their afternoon show presenter and current affairs producer, thus marking a return to Leeds. His ambition by then though was to work in television production and within a year his agent called him with some bad and good news. The good news was being offered his first job directing in ITV. The bad news was it was in Belfast – at the height of The Troubles. In 1983, he took the job as a rookie director and so began a new career working for various ITV companies on networked promotions, religion, news, and children’s programmes.

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Avis was born in 1918, with the surname Scutt. Many people tried to persuade her to alter her name but it was Noel Coward who finally succeeded when he said “my dear, the name Scutt sounds like a great piece of rabbit!”.

She was a former actress and appeared in the theatre and in films including Waterfront (opposite Richard Burton) and To Have and to Hold (with Patrick Barr). When acting roles dried up she began waitressing and requested a test as an announcer.

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John was born in Carlisle. He was a familiar face on Border TV (1980s), as a continuity announcer and programme presenter. However, it was in that other broadcast medium – radio – where John truly shone. He was a leading figure in the radio industry, with an association with many stations. He also penned a number of reports on radio – for the government and the BBC.

His radio career started with BBC Radio Cumbria and Red Rose. He later launched a range of radio brands: CFM, Century, Real, Smooth and Rock Radio. He is also a former chairman and chief executive of the Radio Academy, and was founding chairman of TeamRock.

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Pauline was an actress and a BBC TV in-vision network announcer (1955 – 1961). She also appeared in a one-off show called Afternoon Hostesses Tea-Party (20th December 1955), hosted by McDonald Hobley, with Vera McKechnie and Nan Winton amongst the contributors.

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David was born in 1929. He was a long-serving newsreader/presenter with BBC Midlands (1961 – 1987).

Former BBC Midlands colleague Guy Thomas very kindly sent Paul R. Jackson the following information on David’s career in March 2018: “He was one of the most popular broadcasters working out of the BBC Midlands region. Trained as an actor, he had been working on Midlands radio as a freelance when in 1970, under the banner of Broadcasting in the Seventies, the eight English regions developed their own committed presentation styles – and David became the senior television announcer. In a way it was inevitable for, as a small schoolboy, he had an ambition to be the man on the radio who said ‘This is BBC Midlands’.

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Lynda’s first foray into the world of broadcasting came in 1981, when she took up a role as a copy typist for Ulster Television. In the early days of her television career, Lynda spent a brief period as a television announcer with BBC Northern Ireland (c. 1987). She went on to become one of the regular presenters of the BBC’s local news programme in Northern Ireland, Inside Ulster (1986 – 1994).

She later appeared on national screens: as a reporter on Here and Now (BBC One, 1993 – 1995), Summer Holiday (BBC One, 1995), Holiday Out (BBC One, 1995), Holiday (BBC One, 2006); presenting alongside Rolf Harris on Animal Hospital (1994).

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Judith was born in Stockport, Cheshire. Her sister Sandra (Sandy) Chalmers also performed on Children’s Hour for BBC Manchester and later worked in London as editor of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Judith began broadcasting for the BBC when she was only 13, after being selected for BBC Northern Children’s Hour by producer Trevor Hill. She presented many programmes from Manchester, including Children’s Television Club (1956) and Mainly for Women (1957).

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