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Sir Alastair's style 'was authoritative, well-informed and friendly'

Sir Alastair Burnet was the main newscaster when ITN’s News at Ten launched 45 years ago this month.

He was the anchorman on ITN’s coverage of five British general election programmes, on the American moon landing programmes, and several US presidential elections.

He pioneered live coverage of Parliament's Budget Day speeches.

He set a style of news presentation that was authoritative, well informed and friendly.

– Sir David Nicholas, former Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of ITN

Sir Alastair Burnet 'amazingly fluent, painstaking in everything he did'

He was amazingly fluent, always did all his own research and was painstaking in everything he did. He anchored all General Elections for ITN and he always knew something about any candidate in any constituency.

He was extraordinarily knowledgeable politically, but also about other things like soccer. If anything went wrong on air you would never have known with Alastair in the chair. I remember when Ronald Regan was shot while on air at News at Ten and he just covered it beautifully. He was a great personality, a great drinker. When anyone was depressed his solution was to pour them a stiff one.

– Sue Tinson, former Editor of News at Ten

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Andrew Neil: Sir Alastair Burnet played 'pivotal role in the rise of ITN'

Close friend and broadcaster Andrew Neil said Sir Alastair Burnet was one of the "greatest journalists of his generation, as much at home in print as TV news and current affairs...

He played a pivotal role in the rise of ITN as Political Editor, interviewer and newscaster."

Read Andrew Neil's tribute in The Spectator in full.

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