Eminent BBC reporter and technical wizardChris Drake, who has died aged 77, was an exemplar of an endangered species in British national broadcasting: the reporter. As the era loomed in which everyone would become a specialist or an editor, Chris distinguished himself at BBC News, at home and abroad, as a newsman with a fast and coherent way of transmitting a story, skilled not just in delivery and content but in the transmission itself – he was a technical wizard.

He joined the BBC in the late 1960s and was soon making his name on such programmes as The World at One: he interviewed Paul McCartney, who wished the world to know that he was not, as had been reported, dead; and he was part of the reporting team in Northern Ireland at the beginning of the Troubles, for instance getting on tape a Parachute Regiment officer giving the reasoning, such as it was then, for Bloody Sunday.

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