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Alan Beecham (Read 518 times)
Dicker10
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Alan Beecham
Jun 27th, 2017, 8:02am
 
Former assistant editor of radio news in the 1980s, Alan Beecham, has died at the age of 82. He died on June 20 in Lewisham Hospital.

His funeral is likely to be on July 6. Details will be posted later.

Alan began his career as a journalist on the Lincolnshire Standard after attending Boston Grammar School. He did national service in the army pay corp, serving in what was then Malaya. He then worked for the Surrey Comet before moving to Fleet Street with the News Chronicle. He joined the BBC as a sub editor in Bush House and then a sub in BH. He went on to become the first editor of GNS, an SDE and finally an assistant editor. Alan left the BBC in the mid 80s after a legal wrangle prompted by a re-organisation of senior roles.
Alan was an influential figure in the radio newsroom for many years. He was a champion of the newsroom's values and principles and a defender of its role in serving the public.
He was particularly determined to promote the BBC's impartiality. He would report that canvassers had knocked on his door but he'd sent them away without discussing his voting intentions.
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« Last Edit: Jun 27th, 2017, 9:58am by Dicker10 »  
 
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Re: Alan Beecham
Reply #1 - Jun 27th, 2017, 6:14pm
 
We have received this tribute from Alan's son Jonathan.

I am sorry to announce that Alan Beecham died peacefully Last Tuesday (20th June) at Lewisham Hospital, aged 82 years. He leaves two sons Jonathan and Christopher and a sister Margaret

Obviously many of those posting on this site will have many fond memories of working alongside Alan between 1960 and the early 1990s ending up as Assistant Editor of the BBC Radio News, and a distinguished career covering royal weddings, the Iranian embassy siege and numerous budgets and elections.

The funeral will take place at Eltham Crematorium (West) at 3:15 on Thursday 6th July and those who knew Alan are cordially invited to say their final farewells. Funeral Director Andrew Johnson Funeral Services 0208 854 4544. Donations to Prostate Cancer UK and donations by arrangement with the funeral directors.

I hope to read some of the comments on this site at the service.


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Re: Alan Beecham
Reply #2 - Jun 29th, 2017, 1:32pm
 
My connection with Alan Beecham started long before we worked together in the BH newsroom. He was a year ahead of me at Boston Grammar School and was in fact taught by my late sister at his primary school in his final year there. My sister was a very caring teacher and used to take a group of her pupils to the cinema once a month or so and Alan told me that it was these visits that led him to love films.
I stayed on in the sixth form and went to university while Alan left school at 16 and was a cub reporter on the local paper, the Lincolnshire Standard. During his national service in the army pay corps, he was sent to what was then Malaya and he used to send reports back to the standard entitled "With the Lincolnshire regiment in Malaya".
He left the standard and our paths didn't cross again until I joined the BBC as a sub at BH after being on the Sheffield Telegraph as a graduate trainee. He was on the same shift for a while and we worked together on GNS and on budget programmes. I followed him as editor of GNS.
It was after this he fell out several times with the management and finally left. What he did after that, I do not know as he didn't mix with any of his old colleagues which was a shame. I only saw him once more at the Charles Wheeler memorial service when we talked about my sister, who had recently died. It was then that he mentioned that she had been a great influence on him which lasted for years. She would certainly have been proud of his achievements in journalism and broadcasting. Unfortunately I doubt whether I will make it to his funeral.
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Re: Alan Beecham
Reply #3 - Jul 5th, 2017, 5:17pm
 
Alan was a strong editor and knew what he wanted when running the Radio 4 1800 bulletin. And he got it. John Allen and I were reminiscing about the day of the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Alan told us we would be doing the story and what he wanted. Then he told us to get on with it. And that was it.No constant interference, no shilly-shallying, no constant  mind-changing. I think he was happy with the end product
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