Obituary: Brian Redhead

BRIAN REDHEAD's death denies his enormous following the pleasure of what would, I feel sure, have been many volumes of splendid autobiography, writes Ion Trewin. If, of course, he had found the time even with retirement from Radio 4's Today programme. Brian was also planning at least two radio series: on Religion and Science and on the 20th Century, both of which would have allowed his natural curiosity full scope. Both, he felt sure, would yield books.

Many times last year we talked - on the phone, during a car journey, on a train, over lunch at the Garrick - about his writing. In crisp sentences, where the subordinate clause was a rarity, he had a knack of conveying the picture. Although he had previously written books in collaboration, now he envisaged something solo about growing up in the North-east, early journalism, at odds with the establishment at Cambridge, life on the Guardian, being sacked by the Manchester Evening News, television and ultimately radio where he was most at home.

He would in passing have railed against injustices. He would have deplored falling standards, particularly in newspapers. There would have been a wry smile no doubt that the reports of his death, even in his old paper, the Guardian, managed to misspell the first name of his wife Jenni. Recalling with pride his provincial newspaper training, he would have referred them for checking to his Who's Who entry.

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