John Suchet

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John Suchet
John Suchet 2013.jpg
John Suchet in 2013
Born (1944-03-29) 29 March 1944 (age 70)
London
Education University of Dundee
Occupation News anchor, presenter
Agent David Foster Management
Notable credit(s) Early Evening News
Spouse(s) Bonnie Suchet
Children 3
Relatives David Suchet (brother); Jack Suchet (father); Rory Suchet (son); Richard Suchet (nephew)
Website
http://www.johnsuchet.co.uk

John Suchet (/ˈsʃ/ SOO-shay; born 29 March 1944) is an English news reader, television presenter and musical host on a classical radio station.

Suchet has two brothers, one of whom is David Suchet, a British actor. His father was Jack Suchet, who emigrated to England from South Africa in 1932, and trained to be a doctor at St Mary's Hospital, London. He is father of broadcast journalist Rory Suchet[1] and uncle of broadcast journalist Richard Suchet.[2]

Early life[edit]

Suchet was born in London,[3] the son of Joan Patricia (née Jarché; 1916–1992), an actress, and Jack Suchet, who emigrated to England from South Africa in 1932, and trained to be a doctor at St Mary's Hospital, London in 1933.[4][5][6] Suchet's father was a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, working with Alexander Fleming on the role of penicillin in treating venereal disease.[7] His maternal grandfather, James Jarché, was a famous Fleet Street photographer, notable for the first pictures of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson and also for his pictures of Louis Blériot (1909) and the Siege of Sidney Street. Suchet's father was of Lithuanian Jewish descent, and his mother was English-born and Anglican (she was of Russian Jewish descent on her own father's side, and of English descent on her mother's side).[8]

Suchet was brought up with his two brothers, Peter and David. He attended Uppingham School, Rutland before studying at the University of Dundee, from which he now holds an honorary doctorate. Peter is an advertising executive, and his younger brother, David, is an actor, best known for his portrayal of Agatha Christie's Poirot.[9]

Career[edit]

Suchet began his career in journalism in 1967, when he was taken on as a graduate trainee by Reuters news agency. During that year he learned the rudiments of straightforward, unbiased news editing and reporting, under the tutelage of John Fawcus and Anton Wills-Eve.

He was on the Middle East desk at the time of the six days war in June that year, an event that taught him how to edit his copy that was fast, accurate and acceptable to newspapers in both Israel and the Arab world. This objective attitude towards journalism never left him.

Suchet is most famous for being a newsreader for ITV News from 1972 until 2004. During this time, he presented News at 12.30 / News at One and News at Ten, but became best known for presenting the Early Evening News between late 1991 (when it was introduced to replace the News At 5:40) and 1999 when the bulletin was dropped. Initially, he alternated with Carol Barnes as the regular presenter of the Early Evening News, but by 1994 he had become the sole main host and thereafter replaced predecessors Michael Nicholson and Alastair Stewart as "the face of the evening news".

He also anchored or contributed to countless special event programmes, including royal occasions (he was one of the main commentators on ITN's coverage of Princess Diana's funeral), the Budget and ITN's election coverage. He was voted fifth scariest TV and radio celebrity in the Radio Times poll.[citation needed]

He retired from ITN in March 2004 to work on his autobiography[10] then made a return to TV news, presenting Five News, initially for a six-month period from January 2006, then extended to Christmas 2007.

Suchet has also been a guest presenter for ITV's This Morning, as well as being a guest panellist on Channel 5's The Wright Stuff. He hosted the revival of the quiz show Going for Gold on Channel 5 and later Wordplay also on Channel 5.

On 20 February 2008, Suchet along with Alan Johnson were recognised by the Royal Television Society Television Journalism for the achievements thoroughout their careers. Suchet was recognised for his live coverage of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales and the undercover reporting in Afghanistan.[11]

In July 2009, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the NASA moon landings, ITN produced five special 10-minute programmes for ITV titled Mission to the Moon – News from 1969. Suchet, a former ITN newscaster, was the presenter of these specials. The first aired at 22:35 on ITV on Wednesday 15 July and ran across the following Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday evenings.

In July 2010, Suchet joined Classic FM as the regular host of the Sunday lunchtime music show (12:00-15:00). He first appeared on the station in 2004 as guest presenter of the Composer's Notes series in which he examined the finances and wealth of famous composers. In September 2010 it was announced that he would be presenting the Classic FM weekday morning show from January 2011, taking over from the show's previous host Simon Bates.[12]

John Suchet is a fan of the composer Ludwig van Beethoven and has become one of the UK's leading experts on the composer and his works, publishing five books about the composer.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Suchet and his wife Bonnie have five grown-up sons between them from previous marriages. In 2006, Bonnie was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in her early 60s.[9] Suchet appeared on the mainstream ITN / ITV and BBC news bulletins on 17 February 2009 to talk about this, to raise awareness of the disease and to campaign on behalf of Admiral Nurses.[14][15] He explained that Bonnie would have no idea that he was on the news programmes.

Suchet is a huge fan of – and writer on – Ludwig van Beethoven and has toured with his material. He lives in Docklands, London.

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Suchet on his wife Bonnie's battle with Alzheimer's, Daily Mail, 24 October 2009
  2. ^ Nathanson, Hannah The generation game ES Magazine, Evening Standar, 27 May 2011
  3. ^ "David Suchet Biography (1946-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? – David Suchet – How we did it – Eastern Europe". BBC. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  5. ^ David Suchet Biography (1946-)
  6. ^ Fraser, Alasdair (24 November 2001). "Obituary of Jack Suchet:Obstetrician and gynaecologist who worked with Fleming on the role of penicillin in treating venereal disease". BMJ. Retrieved 25 September 2008. 
  7. ^ Fraser, Alasdair (24 November 2001). "Obituary of Jack Suchet: Obstetrician and gynaecologist who worked with Fleming on the role of penicillin in treating venereal disease". BMJ Group. Retrieved 25 September 2008. (subscription required)
  8. ^ BBC website – Who Do You Think You Are? – David Suchet
  9. ^ a b Dreaper, Jane (17 February 2009). "Gone from 'a lover to a carer". BBC News. 
  10. ^ "Suchet joins Five News". The Guardian. 29 November 2005. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Parker, Robin (21 February 2008). "John Suchet honoured by RTS". Broadcast. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  12. ^ John Suchet to replace Simon Bates on Classic FM
  13. ^ Deacon, Michael (7 January 2011). "John Suchet: 'I whistle Wagner in the street'". The Telegraph. 
  14. ^ Admiral Nurses Dementia UK
  15. ^ John Suchet: 'My Bonnie is gone: it's as if she has died' The Telegraph, 17 February 2009

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Henry Kelly
Host of Going for Gold
2008–2009
Succeeded by
Series ended
Media offices
Preceded by
Kirsty Young
Main presenter of Five News
2006–2007
Succeeded by
Natasha Kaplinsky