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’.
“However in the 1940s he had become a student at the Old Vic Theatre School in London, studying alongside the young aspiring actresses Joan Plowright and Prunella Scales. Having completed the course he was called up for National Service when towards the end of the two year commitment he was posted to a Forces Broadcasting Service station in Graz, Austria and became an announcer and newsreader.
“Returning to London, he was quickly chosen for the role of Puck in the Royal Opera House’s Covent Garden revival of the Purcell opera The Fairy Queen and then joined the Old Vic company to play Amyras in Tyrone Guthrie’s production of Tamburlaine the Great, a much-admired blood and thunder version which starred Donald Wolfit (David would say ‘after being scourged by Donald Wolfit, I was never frightened again!’). David followed this with a tour of Pinocchio (being small in stature he recalled that he had been ‘an obvious choice’) and then returned to the Old Vic in 1952, joining a tour of America playing Puck again in a glittering version of Midsummer Night’s Dream starring Moira Shearer and Robert Helpmann.
“Back in London in 1953, he worked as a freelance actor in a series of BBC radio drama productions and began to realise that it was radio which he liked working in most of all. His popularity flourished and before long his ambition to be the man on radio who said ‘This is BBC Midlands’ was realised. When the BBC split the country into eight television regions, David quickly established himself as one of the most reliable and audience-friendly on-screen personalities. It was an announcing job which also required a good deal of technical dexterity and administrative leadership training a television team of presenters to fill the demands which the growing regions brought about. In Birmingham, he became an established part of Midlands Today, the nightly news magazine team led with great popularity by Tom Coyne.
“In retirement he moved to North Wales.”
David died in 1999.
Video Clips on the Internet
Here we present a selection of video clips featuring David which we found on social media sites or have made available from our own archive. The clips are presented here for additional reference. Inclusion of a video does not constitute an endorsement of the hosting site/channel/user. If you find any broken links below or are aware of an additional clip(s) which you believe may be a useful addition to this profile, please get in touch with us via our Contact page.
PICTURED: David Stevens. SUPPLIED BY: Paul R. Jackson. COPYRIGHT: BBC.