The broadcaster Andrew Neil has paid tribute to his close friend and veteran News at Ten newsreader Sir Alastair Burnet who has died aged 84.
ITN has lost a hugely dedicated colleague whose energy and drive were unique. His passion for the story always shone through and television journalism is the poorer without him.
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.
Veteran journalist Sir Alastair Burnet, known to many for his years fronting News At Ten, has died at the age of 84.Read the full story ›
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.
In this archive report to mark Sir Alastair Burnet's retirement in 1991, Alastair Stewart profiles his career in journalism.
Sir Alastair Burnet will have a private funeral but a memorial service will also be organised at a later date.
Sir Alastair Burnet will have a private funeral but a memorial service will also be organised at a later date, it has been announced.
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.