Michael Fish MBE (born 27 April 1944 in Eastbourne, East Sussex) is a semi-retired British weather forecaster, best known for his BBC Weather television presentations, although he was actually employed by the Met Office.
He became infamous in the wake of the Great Storm of 1987; a few hours before the storm broke, on 15 October 1987, he said during a forecast: "Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way... well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't!". That evening, the worst storm to hit South East England since 1703 caused record damage and killed 18 people.
More than six years after retiring from the BBC national forecast, he is now[when?] making a return to regular forecasting, presenting a weekly weather forecast for Netweather.tv and occasional forecasts for BBC South East Today, BBC London and Radio Kent.
Schooled at Eastbourne College and City University London, Fish is the longest serving broadcast meteorologist on British television and probably the world. He joined the Met Office in 1962 and started on BBC Radio in 1971. He took up the role on television in 1974, around the same time as the first woman presenter, Barbara Edwards.
Fish was awarded the MBE in 2004 for services to broadcasting. He also holds Honorary Doctorates of Science from both Exeter and City Universities as well as the Freedom of the City of London. He was retired by the Civil Service and he made his final forecast on 6 October 2004 on the BBC Ten O'Clock News bulletin. That year he was also awarded the TRIC Award for TV Weather Presenter of the year and The Sunday Times gave him the honour of 'National Treasure'. He has recently resumed forecasting on BBC South East Today, providing holiday cover for the regular forecaster and has also taken to acting. He is a Patron of numerous organisations and charities.
Michael Fish also co-authored a book with Paul Hudson and Ian McCaskill titled Storm Force: Britain's Wildest Weather, released in October 2007. Fish was awarded an honorary degree by City University London in 1996 and Exeter University in the summer of 2005.
In the last two years he has taken up a new career, that of acting. He starred in a Nationwide Tour of 'A Play What I Wrote' and later had a part in 'French Paste' at the Shaw Theatre, London. Apart from acting his time is now spent on the after-dinner and lecture circuit as well as doing voice overs, compering and writing.
He is married and has two daughters, Alison and Nicola.
Hurricane controversy 
In later years, Fish claimed that he had been referring to a hurricane in Florida, USA in a link to a news story in the BBC One O'Clock News that preceded the weather bulletin. But he did not mention Florida in his forecast, which was made amid widespread worries about a coming storm: that morning, the Surrey Record had warned of "furious gales", so both his caller and his viewers likely believed he was referring to Britain. Fish did go on to warn of high winds for the UK, warning viewers to "batten down the hatches", although the storm that actually occurred was far stronger than he had predicted (albeit, technically not a hurricane). Fifteen years later he commented that if he was given a penny for every mention of that forecast, he would be a millionaire. In 2012, a clip of the bulletin was shown as part of a video montage in the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.
In reaction to the controversy, the term "Michael effect" has been coined, whereby British weathermen are now inclined to predict "a worst-case scenario in order to avoid being caught out".
Personality and popular culture 
Much ahead of his colleague, John Kettley, Fish had a record dedicated to him in 1985 by the punk group Rachel and Nicki called "I wish, I wish, he was like Michael Fish". This was featured on Wogan.
Other television appearances 
Fish has appeared on dozens of other television programmes, ranging from scientific broadcasts to comedy shows and quizzes. He appeared on BBC2's gameshow Identity on 3 September 2007 as a 'TV Weather Forecaster'. On 14 October 2007 he appeared on Radio 4's Sunday news review Broadcasting House as a guest newspaper reviewer and delivered the weather forecast at the end of the programme.
He also starred on Let's Dance for Sports Relief on 27 February 2010, dancing to "It's Raining Men" by the Weather Girls. Although he was the star of his performance, his part in the routine was rather small; it consisted of entering the stage, acknowledging the girls who were dancing around him, and ripping his blazer off to reveal a tie with a fish on it. At the end of the performance, he said: "Someone has to play the hunk."
On the strength of his surname Michael Fish has landed a cameo role in the £1 Fish Man’s video of Muhammad Shahid Nazir singing "One Pound Fish". He appears for a brief part with three dancers. He’s seen waving while wearing a T-shirt with the £1 Fish Man’s price tag.
- Michael Fish and the 1987 Storm
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