BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014
Press Office
Search the BBC and Web
Search BBC Press Office

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Roger Bennett

Press Releases

BBC mourns death of presenter Roger Bennett

Category: Radio Bristol

Date: 13.07.2005
Printable version

The BBC is sad to announce the death of Radio Bristol's longstanding presenter Roger Bennett this morning, in hospital in Bristol. He was 69 and had worked for the station since its inception in 1970.


In his years presenting Morning West, Roger received many awards and became the longest serving breakfast presenter on radio.


He won the prestigious Sony Radio Presenter of the Year in 1983; was voted Local Broadcaster of the Year in 1994; and in 1998, was honoured with a Sony Gold Achievement award for his dedication to local radio.


On receiving the Sony award, Roger said: "To me, local radio is an end in itself. I enjoy it as much now as I did when we set up Radio Bristol in 1970. For me it's better than ever."


But his proudest moment came when Bristol University presented him with an honorary Masters degree in July 1997.


"I was astounded when I heard about the degree but I'm very honoured. It makes it worthwhile getting up at 4.30 every morning for the past 23 years. And it's an award for BBC local radio too," he said.


Roger - who leaves behind a wife and four children - was born within a stone's throw of Radio Bristol on 17 October 1935.


He went to Sefton Park Primary School and after passing his 11 Plus continued his education at Bristol Grammar School, leaving at 17.


He had always been at the heart of local news, following his father into journalism at the Bristol Evening Post and at one stage becoming Britain's only known TV columnist to not own a television set!


He went on to become the Post's Chief Reporter, covering everything from the Aberfan tragedy to interviewing the Beatles.


After 17 years as a print journalist, Roger joined the BBC's inaugural local news team for Radio Bristol in 1970. Here he began working on Morning West, where - with Michael Buerk as presenter and Kate Adie reporting from the radio car - Roger took to the skies in a spotter plane, keeping listeners advised about traffic conditions.


In 1974, he became the main presenter, a position which he remained until his retirement in 2003.


Since then, Roger continued to work for Radio Bristol in a freelance capacity and ever the consummate professional - despite being treated for cancer - was still coming to the BBC's Whiteladies Road studios as recently as last Friday (8 July) to present Pick of the Week.


A man of many talents, Roger was an accomplished jazz musician, playing soprano saxophone and clarinet with his Blue Notes band.


BBC Radio Bristol's Managing Editor, Jenny Lacey, paid tribute to Roger. "Roger was first and foremost a much-loved member of staff and we will miss him terribly - as will his countless listeners and fans across Bristol.


"He was a superb journalist who was able to get to the heart of any story, while still being unfailingly courteous to every one of his interviewees.


"He was very much admired by listeners, who saw him as epitomising everything that Radio Bristol stood for.


"He had a real passion for his beloved native city and a completely encyclopaedic knowledge of its highways, byways and history. All of us here express our sincere condolences to Roger's wife, family and friends. He was truly inimitable."




Category: Radio Bristol

Date: 13.07.2005
Printable version


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy