Rory Morrison: Much-loved Radio 4 announcer

 

Rory Morrison was a respected BBC Radio 4 announcer and newsreader who had worked in numerous roles across the Corporation for more than two decades. On Tuesday he lost his long battle to a rare form of lymphatic cancer, aged 48. Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams said "Rory was respected for his intelligence, integrity and professionalism. As a continuity announcer and a newsreader he was admired for the warmth of his voice, his clarity and his perfect timing. He was loved by all who knew him."

Born in London in 1964, Rory Morrison was the eldest of three children to Anne and Bob. He attended Malvern College where, thanks to his sociability, he became Head of House and School Prefect; he also excelled in drama and art and later won an ESU scholarship to Australia. He went on to read English at Durham University, graduating in 1986. With a flair for language, Morrison began working for local radio and presented an afternoon show at BBC Radio Leeds in 1990; he went on to work at Radio York and Radio Cleveland.

Leaving local radio, Morrison worked for British Forces Broadcasting Service before joining Radio 4 as a continuity announcer and to read the shipping forecasts in 1994. From working on From Our Own Correspondent to spending New Year's Eve 1999 on stand-by in case the infamous millennium bug struck the corporation's broadcasting output, he reported on and presented a wide range of programmes.

Morrison eventually progressed to the news-reading team and became familiar to millions of listeners, earning praise for a voice described as "mellifluous" by former The World Tonight presenter Robin Lustig. He presented the six o'clock bulletin for major events such as the Queen Mother's funeral. He was also a regular on Radio 4's News Quiz.

He was known for his good sense of humour, but colleagues were amazed at Morrison's ability to keep a straight face in some rather delicate situations. One such occasion arose when he was describing the broadsheet and the tabloid newspapers' "generous coverage" of Boris Becker's "no-holds-barred account" of his brief sexual liaison with a Russian model, met five minutes earlier, in the cupboard of a London restaurant.

In 2004, on his 10th wedding anniversary, Morrison received a single red rose with a poignant and moving letter from his wife, the BBC journalist Nikki Jenkins, but within half an hour he had been told the news that he had an incurable type of cancer, a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

In the years after his diagnosis, Morrison maintained his sunny temperament. In a moving account of his life under treatment in the Daily Mail in 2008, he wrote, "I don't think in terms of having a battle with this cancer; I prefer to think of it as a chronic condition that I can, and will, manage. When something like this happens, you realise how lucky you are to have such great friends and family." He added, "I'm determined to celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary somewhere more glamorous than a hospital ward."

Following another operation Morrison enthusiastically wrote on 9 May: "Two weeks on after my stem cell transplant and I have today bought a frivolous new car and got cracking tickets for ladies' final at Wimbledon!"

Tributes have poured in. Clare Balding said: "The world has lost another kind, great man today. He didn't make headlines, he read them." Cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew wrote: "Desperately sad to learn of death of Rory. A familiar TMS Radio 4 voice for many years. Lovely man."

Morrison is survived by his two children, Honor and Reuben, and his wife, Nikki Jenkins.

Martin Childs

Rory Morrison, radio presenter: born London 5 August 1964; married 1994 Nikki Jenkins (two children); died St Albans, Hertfordshire 11 June 2013

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 General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine