Also known as John McGavin Gordon. John was an ABC and ATV London announcer in the 1950s, but had an ambition to become an actor and went to drama school. He had several years in repertory around Britain and was seen on television. He then became a TV announcer for Southern TV in Southampton (1959 – 1962), before rejoining the BBC (he had been there in the 1940s) and producing plays and arts programmes for the African Service. After several years – which included two spells in East Africa – he returned to newsreading at the BBC World Service in the 1970s.
Paul R. Jackson corresponded with John in December 1986 about his career: “I joined the BBC – in music – very young in 1942 – then the army till 1949 – back to the BBC, then announced (first studio manager to become one I believe), then left to be an actor for a few years, then Southern, then back to the BBC, first as a producer in Africa Service, then World Service presentation, then put out to graze in April 1986. It’s a long time since I was at Southern TV and you’re probably absolutely right about the dates – I really don’t remember. But my colleagues there at the time were Julian, Meryl, Dicky, Martin Muncaster (Mel Oxley had already left), Philip Ashley (who later went to Australia and may be there still) and Aline James (known to us as Bunty). Brian Nissen and Liz Fox were long after me I think and though I knew Brian later from freelance work, we were never colleagues. You know he was an actor don’t you? If you’ve seen Olivier’s Henry V you might remember the boy in the night scene by the fire – that’s Brian. I dropped the ‘Gordon’ at Southern because there was a transmission controller of the name there and to avoid confusion. I used my middle name – hence the disparity.”
Video Clips on the Internet
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PICTURED: John McGavin. SUPPLIED BY: Paul R. Jackson. COPYRIGHT: Southern Television.