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Last Updated: Friday, 2 July 2004, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
Richard Baker: The birth of TV news

Richard Baker

"All I did in that first programme, at 7.30pm on 5 July 1954, was to announce, behind a filmed view of Nelson's Column: Here is an illustrated summary of the news. It will be followed by the latest film of happenings at home and abroad."

BBC News

"We were not to be seen reading the news because it was feared we might sully the pure stream of truth with inappropriate facial expressions, or (unthinkably) turn the news into a personality performance."

Sir Ian Jacob

"Afterwards there was a party attended by then director-general Sir Ian Jacob. No doubt he was as depressed as we were by press comments that TV had gone back to the days of the magic lantern."

Kenneth Kendall and Richard Baker

"Management relented in 1955 and allowed its television newsreaders to appear on screen. Kenneth Kendall and I were tried out on the late-night summaries, when it was hoped not too many people would be watching."

Kenneth Kendall, Richard Baker and Robert Dougall

"We evidently passed the test because two years later Kenneth and I, and Robert Dougall, were chosen to specialise in TV newsreading. We remained together for some years."

Richard Baker

"I continued to read the news for 28 years, until 1982 when John Humphrys and John Simpson began to read the Nine O'clock News and I decided to call it a day."

Alexandra Palace TV

"To see the scale of the news operation at BBC Television Centre these days is staggering to one who remembers its small beginnings at Alexandra Palace."






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