Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: R.I.P. Sir Charles Wheeler; A <i>Real</i> Roving Reporter

04 July 2008

R.I.P. Sir Charles Wheeler; A Real Roving Reporter

Sad to say, at the passing of the BBC's Sir Charles Wheeler, genuine journalism just lost a giant.

And there aren't many like this marvelous man left.

Veteran journalist Sir Charles Wheeler, the BBC's longest-serving foreign correspondent, has died at the age of 85 after suffering from lung cancer.

A reporter, presenter and producer, he covered stories such as the assassination of Martin Luther King and Watergate when based in Washington.

He spent eight years in the US capital, also reporting on the shooting of presidential candidate Robert Kennedy.

He was considered "a legend",BBC director general Mark Thompson said.

"He is utterly irreplaceable but like everyone else, I am privileged to have worked with him."


He received a knighthood for services to journalism in 2006, and won two Baftas and several Royal Television Society awards - including one in 1997 for a documentary on the murder of London teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Mark Damazer, the controller of BBC Radio 4, said Sir Charles was a "magnificent" man who "embodied all that is best in the BBC's journalism".

"He had a brilliant eye and an unequalled ability to convey what he saw and what he knew."


He claimed in 2000 that television news was "dumbing down" and said the BBC had "lost its way with news".


He had been working "almost until he died" on a programme for Radio 4 on the Dalai Lama, Mr Damazer added.

See and hear the rest of this report on the man.

Then whatever else you do, do not miss this absolutely amazing obituary .

Here's a tasty teaser or two as to why.


His father worked for a shipping company in Hamburg and the young Wheeler experienced life under the Nazi regime.

'I remember taking bread to Jews in the woods'
He occasionally used to take bread to Jewish neighbours hiding out in the woods and his experience of totalitarian rule engendered a profound sympathy for the underdog.

He began his career in journalism as a tape boy on the old Daily Sketch newspaper before joining the Royal Marines in 1942.

He became part of a team led by Ian Fleming which collected technical intelligence ahead of the Allied invasion of Europe and he took part in the D-Day landings


He also upset Buckingham Palace when, after a gruelling day covering a tour of the area by the Queen, he was overheard in a pub saying "I wish that bloody woman would go home."


His distinct anti-authoritarian streak manifested itself in the sometimes prickly relationship he had with BBC managers.

You'll be missed, Sir.

And sorely so.

By millions.

For certain.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')



Anonymous gordo said...

Here's the link to the obituary that you don't want to miss:

6:20 pm  
Anonymous bootlean said...

Sen Jesse Helms also kicks the bucket. Looks like god is making a special effort to be fair and balanced today.

Btw, happy fourth of July to Gordo, and to good American cousins.

8:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll bet he was a dillhole and stuff

*uh huh huh huh*

4:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hawkridge Tech/Hurricane Electric. Yawn.

11:11 am  

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