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Sir Alastair Burnet dies at 84

Category: Entertainment

Published: 20th Jul 2012 11:22:52

Veteran newsreader Sir Alastair Burnet, best known for fronting ITV's News At Ten, has died aged 84.

In a statement, his family said he died at a nursing home in London, where he was being cared for after suffering several strokes.

The broadcaster presented his last news bulletin in August 1991, after retiring at the age of 63.

Close friend Andrew Neil called him "one of the greatest journalists of his generation".

"He will also always be recalled by family, friends and colleagues for his unparalleled professionalism, humour and gentlemanly kindness, especially to journalists starting out on their careers," fellow jourrnalist Neil said in tribute.

"Joy it was to be in his company and he was an inspiration to many who followed in his footsteps - the broadcasters' broadcaster."

Sir Alastair also had a distinguished career as a print journalist, editing publications such as The Economist and The Daily Express.

'Shoulders of giants'

He joined ITN in 1963 as its political editor, before switching to newsreading four years later.

Although remembered for his ITV work during the early and later stages of his career, he spent a short period at the BBC working on Panorama and fronted two general election programmes in 1974.

John Hardie, chief executive of ITN, paid tribute to the broadcaster: "ITN stands on the shoulders of giants, none greater than Sir Alastair Burnet.

"He defined newscasting for a generation and his influence is still clearly evident today. He set the bar to a standard that has never been surpassed, and perhaps not even equalled.

"Sir Alastair will be sorely missed by many here at ITN, but his legacy lives on."

Helen Boaden, director of BBC News, praised his "energy and drive" as unique.

"He was one of the great voices of television journalism and we at the BBC always admired his authority and presence," she added.

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BBC News, 2012. Sir Alastair Burnet dies at 84 [Online] (Updated 20th Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1441698/Sir-Alastair-Burnet-dies-at-84 [Accessed 27th Aug 2014]

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