Christopher Booker (1937-2019)

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RobinCarmody
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Christopher Booker (1937-2019)

Post by RobinCarmody »

Suddenly, I remember the discussion about him on the old board and the idea that he might have appeared with Rod Hull & Emu (he didn't, although he is still listed as such on Genome, as he mistakenly was in Radio Times at the time) ...

I can't say I admired him: he was the embodiment of the whole idea, rampant in the public schools and (probably more damagingly) imitatively in the grammar schools of his time, that it was "un-English" to know about science and, as one who loathes that whole national myth and regards the failure to develop technical schools as envisaged in the 1944 Act as Britain's worst post-war, pre-Thatcher error (compared especially to the way they were developed in Germany & France, where myths of a rosy rural past had been permanently destroyed by Nazism & Vichy), it was particularly hideous to see the results in Booker's blatant denialism of all the facts in front of him. Nonetheless, his contributions to broadcasting are sufficient for him to have an obituary thread here - contributions as a writer to That Was the Week that Was, his quiz on Read All About It, a number of contributions to Radio 4 (plus a 1963 jazz programme, not long after he'd been one of the first people to write about jazz for the Telegraph - I note that Wikipedia no longer says he was the first, because Philip Larkin's famously dysceptic rants had come before at the very least). Most important, though, was his 1979 documentary City of Towers, a key expression of the public reaction against concrete/brutalist redevelopment.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/j ... r-obituary

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