Mike Chaney obituary


My brother, the journalist and broadcaster Mike Chaney, who has died aged 93, launched Newsbeat to BBC Radio 1, edited the BBC Radio 4 At the moment programme and arrange BBC Radio Norfolk.

As editor of At the moment from 1976, he steered the programme by way of turbulent occasions with aptitude and made an early try and make the programme much less London-centred by opening a Manchester studio. His fashion, although, was controversial, and when his time at At the moment got here to an finish in 1979, Mike took on the problem of organising the BBC’s new Radio Norfolk, the place his private qualities and understanding of his viewers made it an important success.

Mike was born in London, the elder son of Stan Chaney, a constructing society supervisor, and Lily (nee Baker) and was educated at Oxted grammar in Surrey. His life – like that of a lot of his era – was formed by his experiences of the second world battle. His nationwide service with the RAF, the place vibrant younger males had been inspired in the direction of instructional self-improvement, sparked his fireplace and led him to review journalism at Regent Road Polytechnic (now a part of the College of Westminster).

Within the early Fifties he launched into his journalistic profession, beginning on small regional newspapers, progressing to bigger ones, then to the northern editions of the nationwide papers, and ultimately Fleet Road with the Information Chronicle.

A two-year educating task in Africa with the Nigerian Broadcasting Company (1957-59) helped him land a job with the BBC World Service, however a divorce from his first spouse, Diana (nee Emptage), and marriage to Frances Bernard in 1964 meant that he had two households to help. So started a interval of intensive and hectic work for a number of nationwide newspapers in addition to the BBC the place, in 1967, he joined a staff with the House Service (later Radio 4) that targeted his curiosity in politics, regulation and present affairs.

He moved briefly from Radio 4 in 1973 to create Newsbeat for Radio 1, the place he launched an attractive presentational information fashion to curiosity younger folks. Again at Radio 4, in 1976, his Newsbeat success introduced him the total editorship of the At the moment programme.

Mike lastly retired in 1995, however was nonetheless lively in Puddletown, Dorset, the place he lived along with his third spouse, Annie (nee Wheatley), for 27 years. Amongst different issues he led a profitable protest to save lots of the village library, and campaigned for (and helped to run) a NeighbourCar scheme to supply transport to and from the native surgical procedure.

Mike was a person of nice appeal and charisma. The corporate of his prolonged household in gatherings each giant and small gave him monumental pleasure.

He’s survived by Annie, whom he married in 1993, by Caroline and Richard, the kids from his marriage to Diana, and Rose, Ama, Isla and Ceri, the kids from his marriage to Frances, who died in 2004, and by me. One other daughter, Kate, from his first marriage, predeceased him.


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