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Sir Alastair Burnet
Born 17 March 1928 (1928-03-17) (age 81)
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Occupation TV presenter, newscaster and journalist

Sir Alastair Burnet (born 17 March 1928, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England) is a British journalist and broadcaster, known for his work in news and current affairs programmes. He was educated at The Leys School, a boys' independent school in Cambridge, and at Worcester College, Oxford. He was once one of the most recognisable faces in British television news, as presenter of ITN's News at Ten. In 1973 he went freelance for a brief period and was editor of the Daily Express from 1974 to 1976 before returning to ITN. He was knighted in 1984.

His TV credits include:

  • Reporter and newscaster for ITN, 1963–73 and 1976–91. One of the main newscasters for News at Ten between 1967–73, the main single newscaster for the newly-launched "News at 545" from 1976–80, returning to News at Ten as one of its main presenters until 1991.
  • Panorama (BBC) in 1974.

Coverage of notable events:

  • Apollo 11 Moon landing, 1969.
  • General Elections: Burnet was the anchor for ITN's coverage of the 1964, 1966 and 1970 General Elections. In February and October 1974 he anchored the BBC General Election programmes. He then left to edit the Daily Express, resigning from the Economist, the news magazine he had edited simultaneously with his broadcasting duties from 1965. Returning to ITN after leaving the Express, from which he refused to take a pay-off, he anchored the 1979, 1983 and 1987 General Election programmes.
  • Wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, 1981.
  • In Person : The Prince and Princess of Wales - Video presented by himself and author of an accompanying Book - 1986
  • In Private - In Public : The Prince and Princess of Wales - Video presented by himself and author of an accompanying Book - 1988

The satirical TV puppet show, Spitting Image, portrayed Sir Alastair as a cringing, fawning Royalist ("lick, lick, smarm, smarm"), forever trying to suck up to the nearest available member of the Royal Family and the satirical magazine Private Eye referred to him as 'Araslicker Burnet'.

Sir Alastair has kept a low profile since retiring from ITN in 1991.

Media offices
Preceded by
Donald Tyerman
Editor of The Economist
1965 - 1974
Succeeded by
Andrew Knight
Preceded by
Ian McColl
Editor of The Daily Express
March 1974 - 1976
Succeeded by
Roy Wright
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