Outside Broadcaster: An Autobiography

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Outside Broadcaster: An Autobiography

Outside Broadcaster: An Autobiography

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He was executive producer of Granada's Wainwright Country and consultant for the BBC's Wainwright Walks series. Although come to think of it, when I read the final chapter I decided I agreed with his analysis of modern television. He wrote regularly for the leading historical journals and some of his articles and criticisms may be found in the bound volumes of "History To-day," in the School Library. He says panellists are as likely now to discuss house plants as they are an elaborately trained espalier.

The former Gardeners’ Question Time presenter was appointed to the honorary role in 2019 following a long-standing association with Cumbria Tourism, including a number of years as chairman.To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. The news of the untimely death on May 21st of Eric Robson came as a great shock to all of us who knew him. A promotion to reporter soon followed and after 10 years on the station he started working for the BBC as a freelancer where he has been ever since. Eric Robson is probably best known as the chairman of one of the longest running broadcast programmes in the world – Gardeners’ Question Time on Radio 4. At the age of 36 he had risen high in the ranks of English historians and he had the most brilliant prospects.

The sheer number of people being encouraged by media studies courses to go into a shrinking industry. He was awarded an OBE for his services to tourism in the 2021 New Year Honours List and he will continue to champion the county’s tourism industry on the national stage. Like most people Eric Robson is probably known to most only as the "Man who accompanied Alfred Wainwright in the fabulous Walking with Wainwright series on TV, or the "Man with a dog on a string" or probably best known to radio listeners as Chairman of Gardeners Question Time. It's a curate's egg sort of book, but the good in parts are not sufficiently frequent or long to make the journey through its 210 pages worthwhile. Last year David Dimbleby retired from Question Time to be replaced by Fiona Bruce and in March it was announced his brother Jonathan was leaving Radio 4’s Any Questions after 32 years in the role.He sought every opportunity of helping those who followed him from Malton to Manchester and delighted to act as an elder brother when he had the opportunity. The annual general meeting at the Castle Green Hotel in Kendal also saw the appointment of three new non-executive directors. Does he worry about the prospects of young working class children trying to make it in the media today? His stories concerning "Father Tom" are a riot, and anyone would have been proud to have been associated with this Lakeland character.

The former chairman of BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time has lived in the area for much of his life and is honorary president of the Cumbria Tourism organisation. I am now finishing the Brian Taylor Corsair I was building when interrupted by the arrival of the FW190, taking a little more than 10 days with this one. In this blunt, humorous and indiscreet memoir, Eric Robson bites the hand that feeds him in a canter through the stupidities of broadcasting which he still can’t bring himself to think of as a proper job. Jim said: “It has been a huge privilege to serve as chair of Cumbria Tourism’s Executive Board during the last three years. Eric said he had always admired the panel who are “enormously skilled people”, rarely stumped when giving their impromptu answers.For his successor he has nothing but the warmest praise: “She’s a charming lady with a wonderful voice, consummate broadcaster and a great sense of humour”. But for more than 35 years, he’s been one of the instantly recognisable voices of British broadcasting. I absolutely have no doubt that the natural resilience of the tourism and hospitality economy in places like the Lake District and the whole of Cumbria will see the industry through. Still, his fingers are green enough to roll his eyes when I enquire what he feels about the latest trend of ‘vegan gardening’ recently suggested by Matthew Appleby, deputy editor of Horticulture Week, who has deemed bird feeders and killing slugs beyond the pale.

Rather than spreading wide, he dug deep, and he found a way of talking about the unyielding facts of the land and the rock, and the ultimate decline of the industry he had known, which is memorable and unique. When asked to describe what he does he’s been known to say that he’s the electronic equivalent of a jobbing plumber. When he got the gig – as the eighth chairman in the venerable history of the programme which started in 1947 - he was warned he was being ‘handed the keys to middle England’.Abroad - A Great Railway Journey Round the Lake District in the company of the mad, the bad and the dangerous to know. He doesn’t ‘garden’ in the traditional sense, although he does own 35 acres of oak and ash woodland and an orchard of fruit trees in land surrounding his Lake District home. There is a huge amount of work to be done following the pandemic and I am proud to be part of that effort. Coincidentally she also has an adopted chicken named after his successor – Kathy Cluckson – of which the same cannot be said.



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