Report of General Monthly Meeting - April 2018

From the Sidelines - Around the World in Forty Years by Ian Henderson

Ian reflected on his diverse career experiences as a journalist in sport, news and politics.

Born in the Isle of Wight and having attended Sandown Grammar School, he had his first trial as a commentator on a football match for Bournemouth in 1969. After spending time with Radio Solent – a pioneering local radio station in the early 70s – he worked as a journalist on the Southern Sentinel – a free newspaper in Winchester. (He was also a part time DJ at this time!) He was the Sports Editor for the newspaper, covering football matches in the Southampton/Portsmouth/Bournemouth areas and also commenting on cricket matches. But he also had a keen interest in politics, so he was unexpectedly asked to cover election night in 1972. This led to his coverage of all elections until 2004, during which time he interviewed four prime ministers, including John Major and Tony Blair.

He worked for the BBC for many years. On one memorable occasion he was asked to do the commentary on the Cassius Clay match in Southampton. Another memorable occasion arose when he was covering the English cricket tour of South Africa in 1995 for Radio 2. Having just done the commentary on the first test in Capetown, he was surprised when Desmond Tutu walked into the hotel. Other anecdotes continued to entertain his audience.

Julia Whitburn