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Former BBC radio presenter Brian Widlake dies

Popular BBC Radio 4 PM presenter Brian Widlake has died at the age of 85 at his home in Wiltshire after a short illness.

The station announced his death on The World at One programme on Monday afternoon, which he presented in the 1970s and 1980s.

Brian was also a presenter at LBC in the 80s, joining to present a breakfast programme on Crown, before moving on to host the midday news programme.

He also worked at ITN and co-hosted BBC Two’s Money Programme and was well known for his interview with Nelson Mandela in 1961, the first televised interview whilst he was on the run.

BBC director-general Tony Hall paid tribute, saying: “Brian was a fine journalist and presenter who was key to establishing World At One as a pioneering programme. He was a wonderful colleague and will be sadly missed.”

His editor on The World at One, Dame Jenny Abramsky, said: “He was a tough interviewer, but he was a polite interviewer and he really, really knew his facts and so he got an enormous amount out of those interviews. You just hear that interview with Nelson Mandela and you can hear somebody – when one thinks that that took place in the early 60s – he was really finding out about who Nelson Mandela was, and that was Brian.”

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