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About me

Nick Clarke has died


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 11 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 11 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Nick ClarkeNick Clarke, presenter of The World at One, has died aged just 58, following a very public battle with cancer.

Nick had a long career with the BBC, but I know him best as presenter of The World at One, and for his moving audio diary of his cancer journey. He always came across more as a chatty friend than a newsreader, as reflected by some 2,000 messages of condolence on the BBC website, and many, many more on individual blogs and websites.

The beauty of Nick Clarke’s political presenting is that he could examine politics in the greatest forensic detail, whilst also retaining a warmth, a breath of knowledge about everyday life, and a touch of little humour. His presenting was always elegant, and his interviews calm and measured, simultaneously detailed, incisive and impeccably polite.

Nick Robinson’s tribute brings back fond memories of some of the best political interviews of our time:

Nick asked once asked what I consider to be the perfect question – proving that you could balance persistence with courtesy. He was being fobbed off by the government’s straight-bat man Alastair Darling who was insisting on talking about the Tories’ policies and refusing to answer about his own. Nick paused briefly after one such answer – just long enough for the audience to notice. Then in that gloriously rich bass of a voice asked, “Minister, just for the sake of neatness could you answer the question I asked you”. Glorious.

There’s a full obituary on the BBC site, as well as a tribute from Mark Damazer, the controller of Radio 4. Thoughts are with his five children, and his widow Barbara.

He will be sadly missed.

This 1,003rd post was filed under: Media, News and Comment, Politics.

More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th March 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th February 2018)

TV I’ve been watching lately (published 9th January 2018)

The impending launch of Teachers’ TV (published 2nd February 2005)

Introducing the Diary (published 29th February 2008)

The new terror alert system in full (published 20th July 2006)

In praise of… good service from big companies (published 27th August 2006)

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