The sad news reaches me from Bernie Newnham, ex-BBC TV producer and now proprietor of the must-read Tech Ops broadcasting history site, of the death of Stewart Morris, last Saturday, at the age of 78. Stewart was one of the great showman-producers of BBC light entertainment's golden age, possibly even the greatest.
He was feared by his crews for his high-octane approach to production and his impatience with any minor cock-ups, but loved and respected by the same crews because he cared so much and produced such sparkling results. Probably the best-known example of his modus operandi is the illicit recording of his talkback from the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest, a night when tits up seemed to be the likely outcome on more than one occasion. He kept it on the rails, at the price of a few deafened and mildly offended colleagues.
He gave me a wonderful interview for Turned Out Nice Again and had, very generously, agreed to another interview for my next book. I was looking forward to visiting him at home in Chiswick, and trying not to let my laughter overwhelm the recording, but that's not to be. RIP Stewart.