Tributes to Sir Charles Wheeler CMG
BBC Director-General Mark Thompson led the tributes to Sir Charles Wheeler CMG, one of the BBC's most renowned correspondents, who died today aged 85.
Mark Thompson said:
"To audiences and to his colleagues alike Charles Wheeler was simply a legend.
"His integrity, his authority and his humanity graced the BBC's airwaves over many decades.
"He is utterly irreplaceable but like everyone else, I am privileged to have worked with him."
BBC Chairman Sir Michael Lyons said: "I met Charles Wheeler for the first and only time at a public meeting where we were both answering questions from licence fee payers.
"His connection to that audience was impressive and it struck me then that his success as a journalist was based in part on his total respect for those with whom he sought to share information.
"My thoughts are with his family at this sad time."
Deputy Director-General and Head of BBC Journalism Mark Byford said: "Charles was, in my view, the greatest broadcast journalist of his generation.
"Courageous, insightful and always curious, he had the truly outstanding gift for vivid, beautiful writing matched by a quite extraordinary skill for using pictures and sound to convey the power of his own eye witness reportage.
"As a journalist you saw him as the pinnacle of our profession.
"His death is a huge loss but his legacy will last forever."
BBC Radio 4 Controller Mark Damazer said: "Charles Wheeler embodied all that is best in the BBC's journalism.
"He had a brilliant eye and an unequalled ability to convey what he saw and what he knew.
"His work for Radio 4 over the last decade demonstrated his astonishing range – dealing with central and eastern Europe - but also, and superbly, with the legacy at home of World War Two. The documentary series Coming Home in 2005 was the Radio 4 highlight that year.
"He was working for Radio 4 almost until he died, on a programme about the Dalai Lama.
"Everything he did was shot through with his compassion and wisdom. He was magnificent."
BBC Press Office