BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 March, 2004, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Broadcaster Hubert Gregg mourned
Hubert Gregg
Gregg was a talented broadcaster, actor, director and writer
BBC Radio 2 presenter Hubert Gregg, who worked for the BBC since the 1930s, has died aged 89.

Gregg, who hosted Radio 2's Friday night show Thanks For The Memory, was also an actor, director, author and stage performer.

He was also known for writing the song Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner.

Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas said: "He painted pictures of a bygone era with wit and style and will be greatly missed by young and old alike."

Folk anthem

Thanks For The Memory ran for more than 30 years, the last being broadcast less than a month ago.

The 1955 cast of Auntie Rides Again for the BBC Home Service
Auntie Rides Again in 1955 gave Gregg one of his many radio parts
He had earlier spent seven years doing a similar programme called A Square Deal, but his many talents also brought other claims to fame.

His wartime hit I'm Going to Get Lit Up When the Lights Go Up in London anticipated a night of drunkenness in the capital - provoking a protest in the Commons.

An MP, Lady Astor, asked if this was "the disgraceful way Britons were going to behave" and Prime Minister Winston Churchill replied he was confident "we shall celebrate a victorious peace in a way worthy of the British nation".

German too good

In 1944, he composed Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner - which became a folk anthem for city dwellers - after watching German doodlebugs fly over the capital.

Hubert Gregg on the cover of his book A Day's Loving
Gregg wrote two novels, including A Day's Loving
Gregg was born in Islington, north London, in 1916. He started his career as a part-time announcer with the BBC Empire Service, forerunner of the World Service.

During World War II, he worked for the political warfare executive on the BBC German Service. Gregg's German was so good that he was branded a traitor by Goebbels.

He acted in everything from Shakespeare to revue, and made his TV debut at Alexandra Palace in a dramatisation of St Bernard's life. He went on to act in the West End, on Broadway and in films.

He also directed Agatha Christie's first theatre success, The Hollow, and wrote two novels.

Hubert Gregg
Singing Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner



News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific