One of telly’s greatest

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I was sorry to learn of the death of Cliff Mitchelmore, a familiar figure in BBC radio and television broadcasting since the 1940s, who died in hospital aged 96.

Most famous for presenting BBC’s ground breaking current affairs programme Tonight from 1957 to 1965, in his unflappable style (broadcast in monochrome – it would be 1967 before colour television).

He also anchored coverage of events including the Apollo moon landing (1969), two General Elections, being live on air when news broke that John F Kennedy was assassinated (1963), and more heartbreakingly covering the 1966 Aberfan slag heap disaster in Wales.

I’m also old enough to remember Cliff co-hosting Family Favourites on BBC steam radio with his wife Jean Metcalfe, to the opening tune of With a song in my heart. RIP, Cliff.

Ken Johnson