BBC journalist Brian Hanrahan dies

BBC journalist Brian Hanrahan, best known for his coverage of the Falklands War, has died aged 61.





He famously told the nation that he watched Harrier jets take off during the conflict, "counted them all out, and I counted them all back".



The often-quoted line was a way of getting around reporting restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Defence which prevented details of operations being reported.



Among the colleagues who paid tribute was BBC director general Mark Thompson, who said: "Brian was a journalist of unimpeachable integrity and outstanding judgment but his personal kindness and humanity also came through. That is why audiences and everyone who knew him here will miss him very much."



He was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and his condition deteriorated when he was admitted to hospital with an infection 10 days ago.



Hanrahan, who leaves behind a wife and daughter, spent 40 years with the BBC reporting from all over the world.



He covered stories such as the assassination of Indira Gandhi in India, the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union, the Tiananmen Square massacre and the fall of the Berlin Wall.



Fellow BBC reporter Kate Adie said Hanrahan had "a wonderful way with words" and recalled hearing his famous Falklands broadcast.



She said: "It was an extraordinary moment. You heard the words and you knew the import and the way he had delivered it and rightly it has gone into history that phrase."



Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was "saddened" to hear of his death.



He said: "Throughout his long tenure as a foreign and diplomatic reporter, Brian's professionalism, dedication and unfailing good humour won him great respect and many friends in British politics and throughout the British Diplomatic Service. I offer my sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues."



Mark Byford, deputy director general and head of journalism, said he was one of the "BBC's greatest journalists".



He said: "His work covering the Falklands War produced some of the most memorable war reporting of the last 50 years. His great craft of using words sparingly but powerfully is a lasting memory for me.



"A beautiful writer, a beautiful man, whose passion for the BBC and for high standards in journalism inspired us all. All Brian's friends and colleagues across BBC News offer their sympathies to his family today and salute one of the giants of broadcast journalism."



BBC World News editor Jon Williams paid tribute to the man he described as "a big character" and said he had been scheduled recently to report on the last flight of the Harrier jets which are being scrapped because of spending cuts.



He said: "It's a mark of the man that even last week, as he lay in his hospital bed, he was texting colleagues to say how sorry he was that he wouldn't be able to cover the last flight of the Harrier. Last week, as the Harriers landed for the final time, the crews of RAF Cottesmore recorded a get-well message to Brian. They, like us, valued him as a friend."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: 3D CAD Designer - Exhibition Stands

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Rapid growth has seen a number ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Recruitment Genius: Delegate Telesales Executive - OTE £21,000 uncapped

£16000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: High quality, dedicated Delegat...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor