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Remembering Nick Clarke

Nick Robinson | 14:47 UK time, Thursday, 23 November 2006

If you're not a Radio 4 listener you may not know what the fuss is about. If you are, you'll be in no doubt. Allow me to add one small tribute to the many that are being paid to my colleague - the World at One's Nick Clarke - who died last night.

Nick asked once asked what I consider to be the perfect question - proving that you could balance persistence with courtesy. He was being fobbed off by the government's straight-bat man Alastair Darling who was insisting on talking about the Tories' policies and refusing to answer about his own. Nick paused briefly after one such answer - just long enough for the audience to notice. Then in that gloriously rich bass of a voice asked, "Minister, just for the sake of neatness could you answer the question I asked you". Glorious.

He is a huge loss.


  • 1.
  • At 04:40 PM on 23 Nov 2006,
  • Nick Thornsby wrote:

Nick, i thoroughly concur

  • 2.
  • At 06:12 PM on 23 Nov 2006,
  • Aaron Spain wrote:

Great piece. It's the short and sweet phrases Nick Clarke used that were the best. A tragic loss, and hopefully an inspiration to a new generation.

  • 3.
  • At 10:29 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Ken wrote:

It is an excellent question, and shows just why Nick Clarke will be missed. He was one of the few interviewers who could engage politicians in a dialogue about their policies instead of letting them recite a pre-prepared speech.

  • 4.
  • At 11:34 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • George Dutton wrote:

One of the very BEST.

  • 5.
  • At 10:14 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

Nick was the world at 1 and I will miss his informative no nonesence style. The world is a duller place without him.

  • 6.
  • At 01:04 PM on 26 Nov 2006,
  • JC Smith wrote:

I have listened to Nick and welcomed his voice from his early days in Manchester North West through out the years, and I shall miss not only his voice but his style of communicating.
He will be missed

  • 7.
  • At 04:19 PM on 28 Nov 2006,
  • Rod Gray wrote:

Part of the fabric of Radio 4 has gone. We share the loss with his family. Just like Hardcastle and Day, he will be greatly missed


'Nick paused briefly after one such answer - just long enough for the audience to notice. Then in that gloriously rich bass of a voice asked, "Minister, just for the sake of neatness could you answer the question I asked you". Glorious.'

Yes, I remember that occasion. Very memorable. I remember smiling at the time.

Nick was a one-off. I don't ever recall him being rude to anyone, and yet with the minimal use of language he invariably left you feeling wiser after interviewing a politician. Not always the case.

  • 9.
  • At 01:04 AM on 30 Nov 2006,
  • Audrey Platt wrote:

I am a regular listener to the World at One and always admired Nick Clarke's style. I was appalled to hear about his illness, but admired the way he wrote about it on a regular basis. The way his children were told must have saved them from too much stress. My heart goes out to his wife and children, it is very hard on them, but they must be so proud of him.

His record of the progress of the illness was a real eye-opener. It showed his determination to make the most of his life, no matter what. He was an inspiration.
Audrey Platt

  • 10.
  • At 02:28 PM on 01 Dec 2006,
  • David from EH4 wrote:

The fact that the spinners from No 10 refused to allow him to interview Tony Blair says something profound and is a huge compliment to Nick's well-mannered persistence.

I once wrote him a short e-mail about his excellent biography of Alistair Cooke and was delighted by a substantial reply which added to my enjoyment of his book.

A brilliant broadcaster and author and by all accounts a wonderful man.

  • 11.
  • At 12:52 PM on 02 Dec 2006,
  • Patricia Taylor wrote:

Just returned from holiday and learned of Nick Clarke's death.I respected him as a broadcaster and admired his and his wife's courage in recording the audio-diary re: his illness and what they hoped would be his recovery. He will be greatly missed.

  • 12.
  • At 04:23 PM on 02 Dec 2006,
  • Mike Emery wrote:

His rich tones will be missed by many, a true professional and a gentleman. A rarity in these times

  • 13.
  • At 11:21 AM on 07 Dec 2006,
  • jim evans wrote:

Polotics may be your cup o tea, but not amy in the UK at the moment.(some never), How ever, Iraq and ALL the conflicts were engaged in.
WMDs, biological, chemical, radiological, and biochemical, are not a thing of the past, because every country able to manufacture them, ahve them.They have been used continually since 1945 by the west, in many conflicts,i suspose you knew that. Any way, we have WMDs on the streets of London and it was not in 2003 the usa put inplace "project bioshield" when Tony Blair was at the White House, yesturday Britain announced a new committee, to coordinate medical research, after the polonium scare, are you aware that the designated weapon of the future IS of NBCD NATURE BUT NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER. "WHAT SAY YOU " "HOW MANY COUNTRIES HAVE ASERIOUS CBW STOCKPILE, I CAN NAME 12 AND MORE.

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