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John Grist (Read 1294 times)
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John Grist
Jan 3rd, 2017, 3:19pm
 
We have been informed by his family that John Grist, Head of Current Affairs between 1966 and 1972, died during the Christmas Period.

Any further information will be posted in this thread.

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Re: John Grist
Reply #1 - Jan 3rd, 2017, 3:42pm
 
A brief clip of John, talking about Party Political Broadcasts, may be glimpsed here.

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Re: John Grist
Reply #2 - Feb 15th, 2017, 7:13pm
 
A memorial service for John has been confirmed for 10th June at 11am St Mathias Church in Richmond. Please pass on the details to anyone you think might like to attend.  
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Re: John Grist
Reply #3 - Mar 28th, 2017, 12:40pm
 
We have received this tribute from a member of John's family.

My grandpa, John Grist, who has died at the age of 92 was a fighter pilot and Head of Current Affairs and Controller of the English Regions at the BBC.  

Grandpa was born in Southampton in 1924 to Austin and Ada (nee Ball), a much younger brother to Muriel, Betty and Joan. His father worked for the Post Office which meant that the family moved many times throughout his childhood before finally fetching up in Ryde, Isle of Wight in 1935. He attended Ryde School whose motto Ut Prosim ‘that I may be useful’ feels like something my grandpa took to his heart – he was deeply committed to public service.

As a child, Grandpa was a keen cyclist and, for a short time, a boxer but his real passion was for aircraft which he would watch as they arrived at the aerodrome from across the Solent. The war enabled him to follow his dream to become a pilot and in 1941 he signed up to join the Royal Air Force, which began with a six month course at Oxford University. Grandpa became a qualified pilot in August 1943 and was posted to Tain, Scotland to 86 Squadron, where he remained for the duration of the war achieving the rank of Flying Officer.

In 1946, following the end of his RAF commission, Grandpa took up a place at the London School of Economics. It was here that he met my Granny, Jill (nee Cranage) who he married in November 1952. Both my grandparents enjoyed an education delivered by influential post-war thinkers and it was here that lifelong friendships began as well as their political interest and activism. After leaving LSE, Grandpa studied for a year at the University of Chicago where his love for America began. This love affair culminated in relocating to New York for three years in the late seventies.

Grandpa joined the BBC in 1950, with three years spent in Nigeria from 1953 supporting the development of the national broadcasting service in preparation for independence. Upon their return to London, my Grandpa began work as a producer in the factual television (“Talks”) department in Lime Grove. During his time there he led on the Party Conference coverage and created the programmes ‘Who Goes Home’ and ‘Gallery’, on which he became Editor. In 1966, Grandpa became Head of Current Affairs. In 1972 he became Controller of the English Regions.

Grandpa managed a few final jobs before retirement: Supervisor on the project to install televised screenings of the Houses of Commons and Lords, working as a Foreign Office observer to the Russian elections in 1993 and acting as a media specialist for the first post-apartheid elections in 1994. Grandpa finally gave up broadcasting and retired on his 70th birthday, in South Africa, the day Nelson Mandela was elected.

Grandpa had an amazing energy for life – walking in the Lake District into his seventies, taking up novel writing once he had retired as well as studying Italian Renaissance Art. He was a warm, funny and intelligent man with a glorious twinkle in his eye.

Grandpa is survived by two of his children, his seven grandchildren and his great-grandson.
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