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banner Thursday, 20 December, 2001, 11:34 GMT
Richard Whitmore
Richard Whitmore and co-presenter Moira Stewart
Still remembered as one of television's longest-serving newsreaders, Richard has carved himself a new career as an actor, writer and broadcaster since leaving the BBC.

He began his career in journalism as a reporter on the local newspaper in his home town of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, where he still lives.

He joined the BBC as a staff reporter in 1964 working for both radio and television news programmes.

The Kray twins
One of his most memorable experiences was his assignment in 1969 to cover the trial of the East End gang leaders, The Kray Twins, taking part in the much acclaimed film documentary "The Name Is Kray".

Between 1969 and 1972, he spent several periods covering the troubles in Northern Ireland.

Theatre career

His career as a studio presenter began in 1973 when he was chosen as one of the anchor-men for The Nine O'Clock News on BBC One. After that he became a familiar face on most main news programmes. Eventually, Richard gave up his 25 year BBC career to fulfil a long-held ambition to work in the theatre.

His first major role was co-starring with the comedian Bernie Winters in a national tour of Underneath the Arches, a musical tribute to Flanagan and Allen. The two later re-created the characters at a Royal Charity Gala Show before Prince Edward at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage.

Richard recently returned there to play Captain Hook in the musical version of Peter Pan. He has performed his one-man show Didn't You Used to be Richard Whitmore? at numerous theatres and festivals around the country.

Queen Mother

Richard's first feature film was Universal Pictures King Ralph, in which he appeared as - you've guessed it - a newsreader.

He has also been a guest on numerous TV Light Entertainment shows, from the memorable 1977 Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show to Only Fools and Horses.

His voice is frequently heard on television and radio commercials ranging from Hamlet cigar to the Mitsubishi Shogun.

Richard is Founder President and trustee of The Queen Mother Theatre at Hitchin, which Her Majesty opened in 1983.

He has written a number of books, one of his most recent being Hertfordshire's Queen. This story of The Queen Mother's life-long association with his home county proved extremely popular in her centenary year.

However, his latest book is about thrones of a rather different kind. It is called Hertfordshire Privies - an intimate history of the county's loos!

Richard and Wendy Whitmore have four daughters and six grand-children.

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