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PETER ROBINS (Read 1546 times)
BAYNES
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PETER ROBINS
Jan 7th, 2017, 1:31pm
 
Peter Robins died on New Year's Eve 2016.  He was 89. Peter began his BBC story as a stringer in Rhodesia in the 1960s when he was a school teacher.
He returned to London and joined Radio Newsreel in LBH which then broadcast both Home and Overseas Editions, including World Roundup.
I met him in 1965.
After RNR, he moved to The World at One, then the Today Programme. When the creator of the new, highly successful, 'Today' format, Marshall Stewart, went off to run LBC, he invited Peter to join him.
Marshall left LBC and a year or so later Peter returned to the BBC, working mostly with the Parliamentary Unit at Westminster.
He published several books of short stories, often with a 'gay' theme. He was a pioneer in 'gay' politics and social work, being (I think) a founder-member of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE).
He had a sharp brain, an amazing memory for names, places and peccadillos (he chatted on the phone to me recently about the South African actor Lawrence Harvey's all embracing sex life), and a sharp tongue.  
The friend whom he brought from Rhodesia had abandoned him in the 1960s, he alleged, and left him penniless; he used to walk to LBH from his basement flat in (then) slummy Norland Square, W11.
Peter and Greville Havenhand may have been responsible for getting me a Staff Post in RNR; but that is a quite different tale: about prejudice in the BBC.
At writing, funeral details unknown.
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« Last Edit: Jan 7th, 2017, 4:28pm by BAYNES »  
 
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PeterPolitico
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Re: PETER ROBINS
Reply #1 - Jan 10th, 2017, 5:19pm
 
I would like to add that I worked closely with Peter for many years when I was presenter of "In Committee" on Radio 4 and he was the Producer. He was the easiest of men to work with and we barely had a cross word in many years. He was good company, witty, and had a certain charm that helped greatly in dealing with MPs. We went on trips abroad together, of which I remember one to Stockholm with a Select Committee to study education there. During the live Falklands debate in 1982 Peter  was breathing in my ear offering support for several hours, when the time was much extended and I was locked in the box at the end of the Chamber, trying to keep talking through a 15 minute division. He kept my spirits up throughout. He was raised in Twickenham and wrote a memoir of his youth there, in which he recounted meeting the exiled King of Portugal! In the BBC, Peter was a Good Companion.
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Graham_M
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Re: PETER ROBINS
Reply #2 - Jan 11th, 2017, 8:04am
 
Thanks very much for this, Will. I saw you and Peter at the WATO 50th birthday bash in 2015. I have nothing but happy and enjoyable memories of Peter. I m fairly sure he lived and worked in Lusaka in Northern Rhodesia, where I went to work shortly after I was a BH SM and got to know you and Peter, and before coming back to the BBC. Let us know of funeral arangements. Graham (gmytton@gn.apc.org)
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