Howard Philpott, a familiar name and voice to listeners of Radio 4’s 6 O’Clock News, has died.
The sad news was confirmed by the BBC this morning. His friend, fellow BBC staffer Nick Hingham, tweeted:
RIP my friend Howard Philpott, Radio 4 announcer and newsreader, who died last night. A really lovely man https://t.co/z4QVlweeV5
— Nick Higham (@highamnews) February 5, 2017
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.”
Philpott lived on the south coast “surrounded by books, records, and assorted bits of audio and computer paraphernalia” according to the BBC.