Veteran BBC newsreader Richard Baker has died at the age of 93, his family has confirmed.
His son, journalist Andrew Baker, shared the sad news on Twitter describing him as a “great broadcaster, great dad and grandfather”
Sadly my father passed away this morning at the age of 93. Great broadcaster, great dad and grandfather. RIP. pic.twitter.com/N4AknFGFDU
— Andrew Baker (@ccAndrewBaker) November 17, 2018
Baker, who was born in London, made history when he introduced the first ever news bulletin broadcast on BBC television in July 1954.
He went on to enjoy numerous roles with the national broadcaster and even voiced children’s TV series Mary, Mungo and Midge. He also had roles in Monty Python’s Flying Circus, popped up in Morcambe and Wise’s Christmas Show and regularly fronted the Last Night of The Proms.
He left the BBC newsdesk in 1982 but his love for current affairs never abated. It was later revealed that Baker still enjoyed reading the news well into his old age, often sharing the headlines with his fellow residents in the retirement community he eventually settled in.
Richard Baker introducing the BBC Television News. July 5th, 1954. pic.twitter.com/WPMSQ1lIBL
— BBC Archive (@BBCArchive) June 21, 2018
Tributes have poured in from broadcasters who were eager to pay their respects to “one of the finest newsreaders of modern times”.
Richard Baker, who has just died, was one of the finest newsreaders of modern times: highly intelligent, thoughtful, gentle, yet tough in defence of his principles.
— John Simpson (@JohnSimpsonNews) November 17, 2018
John Simpson said Baker was “highly intelligent, thoughtful gentle, yet tough in defence of his principles” while Simon McCoy declared that he was “THE newsreader for a generation of us”.
Remembering Richard Baker- THE newsreader for a generation of us – and a huge influence on me. #RIP
— Simon McCoy (@BBCSimonMcCoy) November 17, 2018
Gyles Brandreth described Baker as a “delightful man” and an “impeccable newsreader” who he said was “very kind and encouraging to me when I was in my twenties”.
#RichardBaker has died, aged 93. He was a delightful man, an impeccable newsreader, a fine broadcaster, someone who knew & loved music, a loving family man, who was very kind (& encouraging() to me when I was in my twenties. Remembered now with affection, gratitude & respect. https://t.co/MN0otEs4fj
— Gyles Brandreth (@GylesB1) November 17, 2018
“Richard Baker was at the forefront of the creation of the modern news presenter. He was a calm and assured presence who became the face of news for millions,” BBC Director General, Tony Hall, said.
“Later, he became a great advocate for classical music, presenting many much loved programmes. But more than that, he was quite simply a lovely and charming man. Our sympathies are with his many friends and family.”