The Info List - Huw Wheldon

Sir Huw Pyrs Wheldon, OBE, MC (7 May 1916 – 14 March 1986) was a BBC broadcaster and executive.


1 Early life 2 Military service 3 Broadcasting career 4 Later life 5 External links

Early life[edit] Wheldon was born on 7 May 1916 in Prestatyn, Denbighshire, Wales. He was educated at Friars School, Bangor, then an all-boys grammar school. His father, Sir Wynn Wheldon, was a prominent educationalist, who had been awarded the DSO for gallantry in the First World War. His grandfather, Tomos Jones Wheldon, had been the Moderator of the Calvinist Methodist Church in Wales. His mother, Megan Edwards, was an accomplished pianist. Military service[edit] On the outbreak of war in 1939 Wheldon enlisted in the Buffs. He was commissioned into the Royal Welch Fusiliers
Royal Welch Fusiliers
in 1940, but subsequently volunteered for the airborne forces and joined the Royal Ulster Rifles, with whom he flew into Normandy. He was awarded the Military Cross for an act of bravery on D-Day
+ 1. Broadcasting career[edit] After the war Wheldon joined the Arts Council of Wales, and then in 1951 became the Arts Council's administrator for the Festival of Britain, work for which he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1952. In 1952 he joined the BBC
as a publicity officer, but he was keen to make programmes, and he made his first appearance on television running a nationwide conker competition, and thence became a familiar face on children's TV with his programme All Your Own. Future Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
was a guest on his show in 1957. He also began to produce and present adult programmes, such as Men in Battle with Sir Brian Horrocks, and Portraits of Power with Robert McKenzie. He was also responsible for Orson Welles' Sketchbook (1955). It was with the arts magazine programme Monitor that Wheldon truly made his mark on the cultural scene. He was the editor of the programme – in the sense in which a newspaper has an editor – and he set about molding a team of exceptional talents, including John Schlesinger, Ken Russell, Humphrey Burton, and Melvyn Bragg.

"Making the good popular and the popular good has been a core purpose of the BBC
since its foundation."

— Huw Wheldon

Monitor ranged in subject over all the arts — the hundredth show was Elgar (1962) a film directed by Ken Russell
Ken Russell
and written by Wheldon, that celebrated the composer. Monitor featured specially made films, sometimes just one full-length item, eventually using actors to re-enact the subjects' lives. Prior to this, only photos or location shots had been used in programmes. Wheldon's Monitor lasted until he had "interviewed everyone I am interested in interviewing", and he was succeeded by Jonathan Miller for the series' last season. In 1967 he was invited to deliver the MacMillan Memorial Lecture to the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland. He chose the subject 'Perspectives on Television'. Wheldon then entered BBC
management, becoming by turns Head of Documentaries and then Controller, BBC1. In 1968 he became Managing Director, BBC
TV, a position he held until compulsory retirement in 1975. During this time he again gathered a team of the talents about him, promoting fellow programme makers such as David Attenborough
David Attenborough
and Paul Fox to high executive office, and the period of his administration, which included programmes such as Dad's Army, Kenneth Clark's Civilisation, Alistair Cooke's America, and Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man
The Ascent of Man
(the last two were co-productions with Time-Life Television). After he retired from management Wheldon co-wrote, with J. H. Plumb, and presented Royal Heritage, a ten-part series on the history of the British monarchy as expressed through the Royal Collections. Produced by Michael Gill, it achieved immense popularity ratings in 1977, the year of the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Two other major documentaries followed, The Library of Congress and Destination D-Day. Later life[edit] Wheldon was knighted in 1976. Following his retirement from the BBC
he became Chairman of the Court of the Governors of the London School of Economics, where he had read economics before the war. He disarmed potential sponsors of the school by eschewing flattery and opening negotiations with the bald statement that what he was after was their cash. He was also a formidable and active President of the Royal Television Society (RTS). An RTS Memorial Lecture in his name by a distinguished broadcaster is televised annually. In 2011 Bettany Hughes gave the lecture, and Brian Cox gave the lecture in 2010. Other speakers have included David Attenborough, Jeremy Isaacs and, in 2005, the writer Paul Abbott. In addition to this, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) dispenses a Huw Wheldon
Huw Wheldon
Award for Specialist Factual Programme. There are also Wheldon bursaries and awards at the LSE and the University of Wales, Bangor. Sir Huw's lasting influence, other than as a programme maker, which was considerable, probably lies in the ways in which he articulated the needs and requirements of public service broadcasting. "To make the good popular and the popular good", "the aim is not to avoid failure, but to attempt success", "multiplicity does not mean choice", were among his favourite sayings. He also coined the term "narrowcasting". Wheldon died of cancer in 1986. His ashes were spread anonymously in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, where he had served as a Trustee, and which he had loved. Sir Huw Wheldon
Huw Wheldon
was highly regarded in the United States, where he had many friends, one of whom, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, caused Norman Podhoretz's obituary of his friend Wheldon, a version of which had first appeared in Podhoretz's syndicated column, to be entered into the Congressional Record. Wheldon was married to the novelist Jacqueline Wheldon. They had three children. Sir Huw's son, Wynn Wheldon (named after his grandfather), is his biographer. External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Huw Wheldon.

Interview with Wynn Wheldon about Huw Wheldon http://www.screenonline.org.uk/people/id/473425/

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BAFTA Fellowship recipients


Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
(1971) Freddie Young (1972) Grace Wyndham Goldie (1973) David Lean
David Lean
(1974) Jacques Cousteau
Jacques Cousteau
(1975) Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1976) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1976) Denis Forman (1977) Fred Zinnemann
Fred Zinnemann
(1978) Lew Grade
Lew Grade
(1979) Huw Wheldon
Huw Wheldon
(1979) David Attenborough
David Attenborough
(1980) John Huston
John Huston
(1980) Abel Gance
Abel Gance
(1981) Michael Powell
Michael Powell
& Emeric Pressburger
Emeric Pressburger
(1981) Andrzej Wajda
Andrzej Wajda
(1982) Richard Attenborough
Richard Attenborough
(1983) Hugh Greene (1984) Sam Spiegel
Sam Spiegel
(1984) Jeremy Isaacs (1985) Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
(1986) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1987) Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman
(1988) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1989) Paul Fox (1990) Louis Malle
Louis Malle
(1991) John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1992) David Plowright (1992) Sydney Samuelson (1993) Colin Young (1993) Michael Grade
Michael Grade
(1994) Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
(1995) Jeanne Moreau
Jeanne Moreau
(1996) Ronald Neame
Ronald Neame
(1996) John Schlesinger
John Schlesinger
(1996) Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
(1996) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(1997) Steven Bochco
Steven Bochco
(1997) Julie Christie
Julie Christie
(1997) Oswald Morris (1997) Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
(1997) David Rose (1997) Sean Connery
Sean Connery
(1998) Bill Cotton
Bill Cotton
(1998) Eric Morecambe
Eric Morecambe
& Ernie Wise
Ernie Wise
(1999) Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
(1999) Michael Caine
Michael Caine
(2000) Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
(2000) Peter Bazalgette
Peter Bazalgette


Albert Finney
Albert Finney
(2001) John Thaw
John Thaw
(2001) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(2001) Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty
(2002) Merchant Ivory Productions (2002) Andrew Davies (2002) John Mills
John Mills
(2002) Saul Zaentz
Saul Zaentz
(2003) David Jason (2003) John Boorman
John Boorman
(2004) Roger Graef (2004) John Barry (2005) David Frost
David Frost
(2005) David Puttnam
David Puttnam
(2006) Ken Loach
Ken Loach
(2006) Anne V. Coates (2007) Richard Curtis
Richard Curtis
(2007) Will Wright (2007) Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
(2008) Bruce Forsyth
Bruce Forsyth
(2008) Dawn French
Dawn French
& Jennifer Saunders
Jennifer Saunders
(2009) Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam
(2009) Nolan Bushnell
Nolan Bushnell
(2009) Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave
(2010) Shigeru Miyamoto
Shigeru Miyamoto
(2010) Melvyn Bragg
Melvyn Bragg
(2010) Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee
(2011) Peter Molyneux
Peter Molyneux
(2011) Trevor McDonald (2011) Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
(2012) Rolf Harris
Rolf Harris
(2012) Alan Parker
Alan Parker
(2013) Gabe Newell
Gabe Newell
(2013) Michael Palin
Michael Palin
(2013) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(2014) Rockstar Games
Rockstar Games
(2014) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2014) Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh
(2015) David Braben (2015) Jon Snow (2015) Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
(2016) John Carmack
John Carmack
(2016) Ray Galton & Alan Simpson (2016) Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks
(2017) Joanna Lumley
Joanna Lumley
(2017) Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott

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International Emmy Directorate Award

Charles Curran (1973) Joseph V. Charyk (1974) Junzo Imamichi (1975) Talbot S. Duckmanton / Roberto Marinho / Howard Thomas (1976) Alphonse Quimet (1977) Frank Stanton (1979) Lew Grade
Lew Grade
(1980) Huw Wheldon
Huw Wheldon
(1981) Akio Morita
Akio Morita
(1982) Roberto Marinho (1983) Sidney Bernstein (1984) Leonard Goldenson (1985) Herbert Schmertz
Herbert Schmertz
(1986) Jeremy Isaacs (1987) Vittorio Boni (1988) Ted Turner
Ted Turner
(1989) Henrikas Yushkiavitshus (1990) Henry Becton (1991) Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
(1992) Andre Rousselet (1993) Helmut Thoma (1944) Jonh Birt (1995) Herbert A. Granath (1996) Dieter Stolte (1997) Sam Nilsson (1998) Ralph Baruch (1999) Su-Ming Cheng (2000) Gustavo Cisneros
Gustavo Cisneros
(2001) Katsuji Ebisawa (2002) Greg Dyke
Greg Dyke
(2003) Herbert Kloiber (2004) Charles Allen (2005) Ronald S. Lauder
Ronald S. Lauder
(2006) Patrick Le Lay (2007) Liu Changle (2008) Markus Schächter (2009) Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels
(2010) Subhash Chandra
Subhash Chandra
(2011) Kim In-Kyu (2012) Anke Schäferkordt (2013) Roberto Irineu Marinho
Roberto Irineu Marinho
(2014) Richard Plepler
Richard Plepler
(2015) Maria Rørbye Rønn (2016) Emilio Azcárraga Jean
Emilio Azcárraga Jean

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 38113498 LCCN: n50019034 ISNI: 0000 0000 7880 1618 GND: 133667782 BNF: cb17051863h (data) BIBS