Cliff Michelmore

Cliff Michelmore

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Arthur Clifford "Cliff" Michelmore CBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

(born 11 December 1919) is a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 television presenter and producer
Television producer
The primary role of a television Producer is to allow all aspects of video production, ranging from show idea development and cast hiring to shoot supervision and fact-checking...

. He is best known for the BBC television
BBC Television
BBC Television is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The corporation, which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927, has produced television programmes from its own studios since 1932, although the start of its regular service of television...

 programme Tonight, which he presented from 1957 to 1965.

He also hosted the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's television coverage of the Apollo moon landings, the 1966 and 1970 UK general elections, and the investiture
Investiture, from the Latin is a rather general term for the formal installation of an incumbent...

 of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 in 1969. Many television viewers in 1966 remember his reporting of the Aberfan disaster. He was awarded the CBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 in 1969.

Early life and broadcasting career

Born in Cowes
Cowes is an English seaport town and civil parish on the Isle of Wight. Cowes is located on the west bank of the estuary of the River Medina facing the smaller town of East Cowes on the east Bank...

, Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

, Michelmore attended Cowes High School
Cowes High School
Cowes Enterprise College is a state-maintained secondary school located on the outskirts of Cowes at Crossfield Avenue on the Isle of Wight, previously Cowes High School.-History:...

, Loughborough College
Loughborough College
Loughborough College is a college of Further Education in Leicestershire, England established in 1909. It is located opposite Loughborough University on Epinal Way, and adjacent to the Loughborough University School of Art and Design, situated next to the main entrance of the college...

, and Leicester
Leicester is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest...

 College of Technology and Art. He was an RAF
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 squadron leader
Squadron Leader
Squadron Leader is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence. It is also sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. In these...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and began broadcasting on British Forces Network radio. After the war, he worked for BBC Radio
BBC Radio
BBC Radio is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927. For a history of BBC radio prior to 1927 see British Broadcasting Company...

 and television as a freelance sports commentator
In sports broadcasting, a commentator gives a running commentary of a game or event in real time, usually during a live broadcast. The comments are normally a voiceover, with the sounds of the action and spectators also heard in the background. In the case of television commentary, the commentator...

, then as a news reporter and as a producer of children's programmes, including All Your Own
All Your Own
All Your Own was a BBC children's television program that aired on BBC from 1952 to 1961. The show provided the first television appearances for Jimmy Page, John Williams and the King Brothers.-Production:...


On 4 March 1950, he married Jean Metcalfe
Jean Metcalfe
Jean Metcalfe was an English radio broadcaster.-Early life:She was the eldest child of Guy Vivian Metcalfe, a railway clerk with the Southern Railway at Waterloo station, and Gwendoline Annie, née Reed...

, a BBC announcer whom he met when she presented Two-Way Family Favourites in London while he was presenting the Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 link in the programme for BFBS. They went on to have a daughter, actress Jenny Michelmore, and a son, broadcaster and composer Guy Michelmore
Guy Michelmore
-Education:Michelmore was educated at the independent St John's School in Leatherhead, Surrey.-News presenter:Michelmore began reporting on Anglia TV's About Anglia before joining the BBC programme Newsroom South East in 1993. Guy left the programme to be replaced by Tim Ewart from ITN. His mother...

. Jenny Michelmore and Guy Michelmore have both had children.

From 1955 to 1957, Michelmore presented the BBC TV programme Highlight, a current affairs show with a reputation for hard-hitting interviews. On 18 February 1957, he was made anchorman of BBC TV's new topical magazine show Tonight, broadcast on weekdays at 6.05pm to fill the time provided by the abolition of the Toddlers' Truce
Toddlers' Truce
The Toddlers' Truce was a piece of early British television scheduling policy that required transmissions to terminate for an hour each weekday between 6pm and 7pm. This was from the end of Children's TV to the start of the evening schedule, so that young children could be put to bed.-Background:It...

. Tonight ran for eight years and at its peak attracted 8 million viewers. In 1958, Michelmore was named Television Personality of the Year by the Guild of Television Producers.

When Tonight finished in 1965, Michelmore hosted a BBC One
BBC One is the flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution...

 series called Twenty-Four Hours
24 Hours (TV series)
Twenty-Four Hours is a long-running, late evening, daily news magazine programme that aired on BBC 1. It focused on analysis and criticism of current affairs and featured in-depth short documentary films that set the style for current affairs magazine programmes. Twenty-Four Hours launched in 1965...

  until 1968. In 1967, he presented Our World, an ambitious worldwide TV broadcast. Our World was the first time satellite communication used extensively in an attempt to "connect the whole world by television." The programme featured a performance by The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 of their song "All You Need Is Love
All You Need Is Love
"All You Need Is Love" is a song written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was first performed by The Beatles on Our World, the first live global television link. Watched by 400 million in 26 countries, the programme was broadcast via satellite on 25 June 1967...

. Michelmore recalls that the song was (at least in part) inspired by the Our World logo - a chain of figures holding hands around the world.

After leaving full-time work in television, Michelmore headed EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

's nascent video division. He was a regular presenter on BBC One's Holiday programme from 1969 to 1986, and has presented other shows for BBC TV, ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 and BBC Radio.

Michelmore returned to the BBC on 18 November, 2007 to introduce a programme on BBC Parliament
BBC Parliament
BBC Parliament is a British television channel from the BBC. Its remit is to make accessible to all the work of the parliamentary and legislative bodies of the United Kingdom and the European Parliament...

 recalling the 1967 devaluation of the pound
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...


Michelmore has otherwise retired from TV presenting and lives in South Harting
Harting is a civil parish in the Chichester District of West Sussex, England, situated on northern flank of the South Downs. It comprises four settlements namely Nyewood plus South, East and West Harting....

, West Sussex near Petersfield
Petersfield can refer to any of the following places:*Petersfield, Hampshire, a market town in England*Petersfield, Jamaica, a small town in the parish of Westmoreland*Petersfield, Manitoba, in Canada*Petersfield, an area of Cambridge, England...

, Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...