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Wednesday, October 21, 1998 Published at 20:24 GMT 21:24 UK


BBC legend Frank Gillard dead

Frank Gillard in 1995

The veteran BBC broadcaster and executive, Frank Gillard, has died at the age of 89.

The BBC's Torrin Douglas: "Frank Gillard brought the war home to British living rooms"
As a distinguished war correspondent Mr Gillard reported many of the major developments of World War II to the home audience.

[ image: Mr Gillard was honoured for his war reporting]
Mr Gillard was honoured for his war reporting
He broadcast reports from the Normandy landings and broke the news to the world of the link-up between the US and Soviet forces at the River Elbe in 1945

After the war he became the managing director of BBC Radio, overseeing the creation of Radio 1,2,3 and 4.

Mr Gillard was also the driving force behind the creation of BBC local radio in the 1960s. He was made an OBE in 1946 and a CBE in 1961.

However, he caused a national outcry in 1964 when he decided to scrap the popular radio programme Children's Hour.

'Beloved figure'

Sir John Birt: "Frank was one of the most significant figures in the BBC's history"
The BBC's Director-General, Sir John Birt, said he was deeply saddened at Mr Gillard's death.

"Frank was one of the most beloved figures in broadcasting and one of the most significant figures in BBC history.

[ image: He helped found most BBC radio stations]
He helped found most BBC radio stations
Mr Gillard had "set the mould for post-war journalism", he said.

The veteran broadcaster was enormously kind, but was also tough minded when it came to difficult decisions, Sir John added.

Born in Exford, Somerset, Mr Gillard worked as a school master for nine years before becoming a freelance broadcaster in 1936. He joined the BBC in 1941.

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