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Wednesday, 1 August, 2001, 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK
Weatherman Bert Foord dies
Bert Foord
Bert Foord joined the Met Office in 1947
Bert Foord, one of the first TV weathermen to become a household name, has died from cancer, aged 70.

Mr Foord presented the weather on the BBC for 11 years and co-hosted coverage of the Apollo 13 space missions alongside commentator Cliff Michelmore and astronomer Patrick Moore.

[He was] extremely well-respected, a great man to have on your side

Bill Giles OBE
Fellow weatherman Bill Giles OBE has said he was an "amazing character" who will be sadly missed.

"Bert was something of a pioneer in the late 60s and early 70s," he said.

"He was an amazing character, very serious on screen but the life and soul of the party as soon as he was off air.

"He was very influential within the Met Office and extremely well-respected, a great man to have on your side," Mr Giles added.

Bert Foord on BBC TV
Terry Wogan campaigned to Bring Back Bert Foord
Mr Foord fronted BBC weather forecasts between 1963 and 1974, and also warned of the lightning which struck Apollo 13.

The BBC said in a statement that he was an extremely popular presenter who helped shape the way weather forecasts are shown today.

Having joined the Met Office in 1947, he worked at the Scottish Eskdalemuir Observatory before travelling and working in the Maldives and Germany.

Satirical comedy

Aside from predicting the weather, he took part in the satirical comedy series Celebrity Shakespeare alongside Esther Rantzen and DJ Emperor Rosko.

In 1973, Mr Foord was a guest of Roy Plomley on the long-running BBC Radio 4 slot Desert Island Discs.

After leaving the BBC, he became principal forecaster with HQ Strike Command from 1984 until his retirement in 1990.

'Fantastic father'

He achieved cult status when BBC veteran Terry Wogan introduced a Bring Back Bert Foord campaign, many years after he had stopped appearing on television.

Wogan was convinced that the weather had got worse since his departure.

A statement from Mr Foord's family said: "Bert was a fantastic father and husband. We will all miss him greatly.

"Although he was a household name we would like to be left alone to grieve."

See also:

01 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Weatherman Kettley quits
21 Feb 00 | Entertainment
BBC's weather girl power
09 Jan 00 | UK
Giles walks off into sunset
26 Nov 99 | UK
Giles wins bullying case
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