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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pastime Paradise

I've just heard some sad news on the radio. David Hatch has died at the age of 68. There are some remarkable people who never really become household names even though they help many become household names during their career. I think it's fair to say that David was one such person. This is to say nothing of his relatively recent knighthood.

It was a thrill to meet him in 1988 when I was a trainee at the BBC. You can see me here in a photo taken in his Broadcasting House office as he presented me with my certificate at the end of my training course. He was Managing Director of BBC Radio at the time and had previously served as Head of Light Entertainment as well as Controller of Radio 2 and Radio 4. I have a feeling he was deep in management hell at that time. He left the BBC about 10 years ago and worked for the National Consumer Council before he retired.
Toni Sant receiving a certificate from David Hatch at the end of a BBC Radio Training course in 1988
Judging from my hairstyle I wasn't too bothered that I was experiencing a potentially historical moment in my professional life. However, I remember that that I was aware that I was in the presence of an empire's fading glory.

David Hatch left an indelible impression on me throughout my broadcasting career and also delighted many radio listeners through his contributions as producer of I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again and Just a Minute.

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