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Monday, 22 April, 2002, 22:54 GMT 23:54 UK
Christopher Price: Face of showbiz
Christopher Price and Claire Sweeney
Price had also presented Song for Europe with Claire Sweeney
Christopher Price was known to television viewers as the presenter of BBC Choice's daily entertainment news show, Liquid News.

The programme was earmarked as one of the flagships of the proposed BBC Three digital channel, targeting a youth audience.

The government is still considering proposals to turn BBC Choice into BBC Three.

It is expected that Liquid News would play a key part in attracting viewers to the channel, and Price wanted it to stand out as a "classy show" among the new digital offerings.

As the show's charismatic anchor, he would have seen his own career shoot upwards as a result.

Jenny Eclair
Comedienne Jenny Eclair: A regular guest on Price's sofa

He was already on the way - just last month he presented the UK's Song for Europe show with former Brookside actress Claire Sweeney.

Liquid News was filmed live for its nightly half-hour slot on its minimalist white set, with Price and his desk always in centre shot.

He believed in live television, and enjoyed the adrenaline rush of performing in a single take.

"I've worked in pre-recorded shows and it's just not the same," he told BBC News Online last year.

Epitaph

Price loved the show, calling it "the most exciting place to work in TV", and was always proud that it dealt only in news.

He said on the show's website that he would want his epitaph to say: "This was Liquid News and these were tonight's headlining stories."

The show won a cult status with showbiz fans, as much for Price himself as for the way it covered the day's entertainment news events - "with a twist", as Price put it.

Its guests - celebrities, comedians, journalists and media personalities - took an irreverent look at the day's events, and Price encouraged them to say exactly what they thought.

Journalist

As the frontman of the show, he did more than "come in and read the autocue" - he also had a hand in the scripts and the running order.

A languages graduate from Reading University, Price, 34, was a BBC journalist by trade. He joined the corporation's reporter training scheme and began his career in BBC local radio.

In 1994, he helped form BBC Radio Five Live's start-up team where he worked as a senior journalist and stand-in presenter for three years.

Then, three years later, he moved into television, joining the launch team on BBC News 24 in 1997 where he was an evening presenter and newsreader.

He also presented the nightly entertainment news show Zero30, which went on to become Liquid News in 2000.

Headline news

He did not set out to become an entertainment journalist, but always enjoyed covering the multi-million pound industry and the antics of its stars.

Although viewing figures for digital channels are not in the league of the major networks, this did not bother him.

"I don't have one problem with being on a digital channel - the viewing uptake will happen," he once said.

At the beginning of last year he hit the headlines when he signed a contract worth 280,000 over two years with the BBC - the national press then dismissed him as a little-known newsreader.

But it was unlikely to have stayed that way for long.

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