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Martyn Lewis CBE (born 7 April 1945) is a British television news presenter and journalist.
Lewis was born in Swansea, West Glamorgan, though was educated at the co-educational Dalriada School in Northern Ireland and graduated with a BA degree from Trinity College, Dublin. He then joined BBC Northern Ireland in 1967. Martyn also holds an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Ulster and is a Freeman of the City of London, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Member of the Garrick Club and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Lewis became the first presenter of the One O'Clock News on BBC One on 27 October 1986 when it launched as part of the introduction of the channel's daytime schedule, replacing News After Noon. Subsequently, he presented other bulletins including the Six O'Clock News and Nine O'Clock News.
Lewis played a prominent role in the announcement of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales on Sunday 31 August 1997. He was called into the BBC in the early hours of that morning to present short national bulletins about the car accident in Paris. He returned home afterwards to get some sleep – expecting the Princess to pull through – only to be drafted in again in time for the special 6am bulletin covering Diana's death.
During the marathon coverage which was simulcast on BBC1, BBC World as well as broadcasters around the world which took in the BBC news feed, Lewis was almost brought to tears following Tony Blair's "People's Princess" statement. His uninterrupted presenting stint ended mid-afternoon when Peter Sissons took over.
On 26 April 1999, a few weeks before the BBC relaunched its news programmes, he presented the Six O'Clock news bulletin with Jennie Bond on the day his co-host Jill Dando was murdered outside her home in West London. He also appeared on rival ITN that evening to pay tribute to his dead colleague.
He presented his last bulletin at the start of May 1999 from Edinburgh, reporting on Scottish devolution, signing off with, "And from me, it's goodbye."
Lewis was part of ITN's "Famous Five", with Gordon Honeycombe, Anna Ford, Selina Scott and Julia Somerville. As part of the celebrations for ITN's 50th anniversary, he returned to television news to present a special edition of the ITV Evening News with Mary Nightingale in September 2005.
Lewis was the long-running host, from 1993, of the BBC news-based quiz show Today's the Day.
He retired from newsreading in 1999 and since then has presented occasional programmes on ITV including Dateline Jerusalem and Ultimate Questions.
In 2013, he has appeared as the presenter in new television commercials for Calgon, acting out interviews with 'experts' in a series entitled "Smart Washing with Calgon".
Lewis is chairman of Teliris, one of the first telepresence systems developed. He has been actively involved in the marketing of this solution through personal contacts, speaking engagements and "Telepresence Times", his vlog launched in 2009.
He is president of United Response, a charity supporting people with learning disabilities or mental health needs to live in the community, in England and in Wales.
He founded the youth charity YouthNet in 1995, and stayed as chairman until stepping down in July 2014. The charity provides advice, information and support through websites aimed at young people.
As of 2010[update] he is also chairman of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, Families of the Fallen; trustee of the Windsor Leadership Trust, and deputy chair of the Lord Mayor of London's Dragon Awards.
Martyn is married to Patsy Baker (née Wallis) who is Group Director of Business Development for the public relations company Bell Pottinger Private. Patsy is the mother of 3 children.
His first marriage was to the former model Liz Carse, daughter of the Antarctic explorer and former BBC radio newsreader Duncan Carse. They met while working at HTV Wales in the late sixties – she as a continuity announcer and model, he as a reporter and presenter. Liz died in early 2012 after spending ten years in a nursing home suffering from a degenerative brain disease.
Books by Lewis include:
- And Finally (1984) – an anthology of humorous stories that have ended news bulletins over the years. ISBN 978-0-7126-0923-4
- Tears and Smiles – the Hospice Handbook (with the Duchess of Kent, 1989) – the first layman's guide to the British Hospice movement. ISBN 978-1-85479-060-6
- Cats in The News (1991) – a humorous anthology which topped the best seller list for 8 weeks. ISBN 978-0-356-20282-2
- Dogs in the News (1992) ISBN 978-0-7515-0250-3
- Go For It – Martyn Lewis's Essential Guide to Opportunities for Young People (1993–98) – annual publication which was the forerunner of the charity YouthNet. ISBN 978-1-85291-131-7
- Today's The Day (1995) – based on Lewis' quiz show of the same name. ISBN 978-0-86369-943-6
- Reflections on Success (1997) – interviews with over 60 famous people across a wide range of professions analysing their success. ISBN 978-1-85291-139-3
- Seasons of Our Lives (1999) – an anthology of poetry and prose to comfort, encourage and amuse people as they go through different stages of life. ISBN 978-1-85291-142-3
- Lewis, Martyn (26 April 1993). "Not my idea of good news: At the end of a week of horrifying events, Martyn Lewis, BBC presenter, argues for a change in news values". The Independent.
- Bedell, Geraldine (2 May 1993). "Profile: Sweetie among cynics: Martyn Lewis: Top in a tough profession, he campaigns for good news and writes about cats. So why are the claws out for him?". The Independent.
- Telepresence Times vlog
- YouthNet: Meet the trustees
- YouthNet: What We Do
- Interview with Martyn Lewis, ThirdSector, 18 May 2010
- Martyn Lewis, Civil Society
- "Kate Lewis IMDB Page".