BBC newsreader Howard Philpott has died

BBC confirms that the familiar voice to Radio 4 listeners has passed away

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Howard Philpott, a familiar name and voice to listeners of Radio 4’s 6 O’Clock News, has died.

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The sad news was confirmed by the BBC this morning. His friend, fellow BBC staffer Nick Hingham, tweeted:

In a statement the BBC paid tribute to Philpott: “We’re sorry to report that BBC Radio 4 newsreader and announcer Howard Philpott has died after a short battle with cancer. Howard was a valued member of the Radio 4 team who will be missed by listeners and colleagues alike. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

Senior Announcer Chris Aldridge said: ‘Howard Philpott was a much-loved and respected Radio 4 newsreader and announcer for some 13 years. He adored the medium of radio and was instinctive in the way he talked to the Radio 4 listener, mixing intellectual rigour with a ready wit. Away from the microphone he was delightful and self-effacing but with a steely resolve to uphold standards of grammar and pronunciation within the announcer team. We have lost a great friend and standard-bearer, and the BBC a dedicated servant.”

Philpott was born in London, but spent his childhood in Bexhill on the south coast of England, according to his BBC biography.

After a spell training as a quantity surveyor, he joined the BBC as a studio manager. He then went freelance before working as an announcer and newsreader for BBC World Service.

He joined Radio 4 recently, thereby achieving a childhood ambition. He said: “I used to listen to Douglas Smith playing the announcer on Round the Horne, and dream of following in his footsteps.”

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Philpott lived on the south coast “surrounded by books, records, and assorted bits of audio and computer paraphernalia” according to the BBC.