Tributes to much-loved TV presenter

ONE of the most famous faces of Anglia Television for three decades Michael Speake, has died after a short illness, aged 68.A continuity announcer, he was one of the team who did daily battle with the children's puppet character BC when Anglia and independent television commanded audiences of millions.

ONE of the most famous faces of Anglia Television for three decades Michael Speake, has died after a short illness, aged 68.

A continuity announcer, he was one of the team who did daily battle with the children's puppet character BC when Anglia and independent television commanded audiences of millions.

Known to generations of children, BC helped the continuity announcer read out viewers' cards in the Birthday Club spot from about 1981. And this popularity inspired Mr Speake to publish “BC and The Magic Book” in 1986.

He worked alongside other daytime presenters, including Katie Glass, Patrick Anthony, Christine Webber and Caroline Oldrey, who had to battle with BC's maniac activities through the 1980s.

He joined Anglia in the late 1970s after working for ATV in the midlands, BBC Radio Scotland and also Northern Ireland.

A lifelong enthusiast of the silver screen, he presented a highly-respected programme on Radio Norfolk on Sundays, coining a phrase that the best way to see a film was on the big screen.

Most Read

Helen McDermott, who joined Anglia in 1979 and introduced BC to the network, recalled another hidden side.

“The great thing about Michael was that he could laugh at himself. He was a brilliant straight man. He was very talented but never boasted about it at all,” she added.

After living close to Norwich city centre off the Aylsham Road for a couple of years, he then moved to Easton in about 1980. He died at his home on Tuesday after a short illness but even until Christmas, he was still able to complete repairs on his beloved car.