Nick Hitchon obituary


My brother, Nick Hitchon, was an professional in nuclear fusion who finally accepted that he would all the time be greatest recognized for showing in a groundbreaking TV documentary slightly than as a scientist.

Nick, who has died aged 65 following an extended sickness, was a decided and dedicated particular person whose work took him hundreds of miles from his upbringing in a Yorkshire Dales farming household.

His dream was to offer the world with comparatively low cost and clear energy, an ambition that is still unfulfilled.

He was additionally one of many contributors within the award-winning Up sequence of TV movies. This started in 1964, when a researcher was struggling to discover a rural little one who would speak to the digicam for an version of Granada TV’s World in Motion programme known as Seven Up! It featured kids aged seven from differing backgrounds giving their views on numerous topics.

Directed to the one-room Arncliffe CE major college in Littondale, North Yorkshire, the researcher was advised Nick would positively speak, however he was solely six. He stated that was close to sufficient, and Nick was filmed explaining that he wished to be taught in regards to the Moon, although he refused to say what he considered ladies. It was meant to be a one-off programme, however the cameras returned for a follow-up, 7 Plus Seven, after which each seven years after that.

3045 - Nick Hitchon obituary
Nick Hitchon at six years previous, being interviewed for Seven Up!, which was supposed as a one-off programme for broadcast in 1964, however turned the celebrated Up documentary sequence. {Photograph}: ITV

Nick was born in Skipton, the eldest of the three sons of Iona (nee Corridor) and Man Hitchon, who farmed within the Littondale hamlet of Hawkswick. When the subsequent instalment of Up was filmed, Nick was truly 13 and at Ermysted’s grammar college, Skipton, the place his love of science was flourishing, he captained the rugby first XV and performed for a Yorkshire Faculties crew.

From there he went to Merton Faculty, Oxford, to check physics, gaining his DPhil on the age of 23. He was about make a significant change, as he moved to the US in 1982 together with his first spouse, Jacqui Bush, to proceed his work on nuclear fusion on the College of Wisconsin. Nick and Jacqui later divorced.

He remained on the college’s Division of Laptop and Electrical Engineering for 4 a long time, changing into a full professor in 1994 and division chair from 1999 to 2002. He was the writer of greater than 100 articles and three books in his specialist area.

Nick participated in all of the Up sequence movies. Although he felt poorly represented in a few of the early programmes and all the time discovered the interviews uncomfortable, he introduced the identical dedication to creating the movies as he did to different areas of his life.

Nick was recognized with most cancers 5 years in the past however was decided to stay as full a life as attainable, solely retiring from the college within the spring of 2022.

He’s survived by his second spouse, Cryss Brunner, whom he married in 2001, and his son, Adam, from his first marriage, and by his brothers, Chris and me.


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