Obituary: Dennis Scuse

DENNIS SCUSE was for nine years the General Manager of BBC Enterprises, the successful selling arm of BBC programmes, and was in line to be promoted to become the chief executive of Visnews.

In 1972 Visnews was the leading international television news agency. Reuters held the chairmanship. The other main owner, the BBC, provided the bulk of the staff. A new chief executive was needed and the general assumption was that Dennis Scuse should be appointed. He had an excellent record for the job.

Suddenly there was a hitch. The retiring Director-General of the BBC, Sir Charles Curran, discovered that he would no longer be eligible to hold an important post in the Euro- pean Broadcasting Union to which he had recently been elected if he had ceased to be an active broadcaster. He therefore applied for the vacant Visnews post.

The Visnews Board had no alternative. It would have been impossible to appoint anyone against the Director-General. Scuse withdrew and gradually moved into private consultancy. It spelled the end of his hitherto successful BBC career.

Scuse had joined the Army Broadcasting Service in the Second World War and had commanded stations in Bari, Rome and Athens. He was demobilised in 1946 and joined the Overseas Division of the BBC. He was seconded to the War Office for work in broadcasting for the forces. He served in Benghazi and in the British Forces network in Germany, where he introduced Two- Way Family Favourites, the programme that in turn introduced Jean Metcalfe to Scuse's number two in Hamburg, Cliff Michelmore.

He had been the chief television assistant in the BBC's New York office. He had also been the senior planning assistant under Joanna Spicer. He devised a system popular with television producers which enabled them to acquire extra programme money through "viewer participation".

This meant that the producer sold the right to rebroadcast the programme being made, in return for an advance of money for his or her programme budget. Thus the television service in general would not gain from a programme sale, but the individual programmes could be made self-supporting. Indeed it became almost impossible for programme offers to be accepted unless some "viewer participation" were promised.

Scuse went on to become the general manager of BBC television and radio enterprises for nine highly successful years. He was looking forward to the Visnews promotion which he had every right to expect until Sir Charles Curran's surprise action thwarted his prospects, and effectively ended his BBC career.

Dennis George Scuse, broadcasting executive: born 19 May 1921; Assistant Director, British Forces Network, Germany 1949-50, Director 1950-57; MBE 1957; Senior Planning Assistant, BBC TV 1958-59, Chief Assistant (Light Entertainment) 1960, Chief Assistant (TV), BBC New York Office 1960, General Manager, BBC TV Enterprises 1963-72, General Manager, BBC Radio Enterprises 1968-72; managing director, Trident International TV Enterprises 1972- 76; managing director, Dennis Scuse Ltd 1976-87; married 1948 Joyce Burt (one son); died Richmond, Surrey 30 April 1998.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
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 General

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power