Ian McNaught-Davis

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Ian McNaught-Davis
Ian McNaught-Davis 2009.jpg
McNaught-Davis at 2009 Climbers' Club Welsh Dinner[1]
Born (1929-08-30)30 August 1929
Died 10 February 2014(2014-02-10) (aged 84)
Other names Mac[2]
Known for Mountaineering, climbing,
BBC Computer Literacy Project

Ian McNaught-Davis (30 August 1929 – 10 February 2014)[3][4] was a British television presenter mainly known for presenting the BBC TV series The Computer Programme, Making the Most of the Micro and Micro Live in the 1980s. He was also a well-known mountaineer and alpinist. He was managing director of the British subsidiary of Comshare Inc.

Early life and education[edit]

The son of Stanley McNaught-Davis, an ex RAF pilot, he was educated at Rothwell Grammar School in Lofthouse, West Yorkshire (originally built in Rothwell, West Yorkshire), followed by national service in the RAF where his poor eyesight thwarted his ambitions to become a pilot. He achieved a first in Mathematics at the University of Manchester, where he also became an active mountaineer.[5]


After university he had a variety of jobs including : digging ice tunnels for glaciologists on Monte Rosa in Switzerland; fixing roofs and teaching. Eventually he settled as a geophysicist for British Petroleum (BP), specialising in Africa.[5]


In the 1970s he switched careers to information technology, and joined Comshare Inc, where he remained until retirement in 1995. Comshare specialised in software development and resale of redundant operational time on mainframe computer systems. He rose to become chief executive of the European division and managing director of the British subsidiary.[5]


He presented the BBC TV series The Computer Programme,[6] Making the Most of the Micro and Micro Live in the 1980s.[5]

In 2008 he was a speaker (along with Dave Allen and George Auckland) at an event entitled The BBC Micro and its legacy hosted by the Computer Conservation Society.[7]


McNaught-Davis was a keen climber, hill walker and hiker. In 1956 he was one of the first to climb the "unclimbable" Muztagh Tower in the Karakoram range in Baltistan.

In the 1960s he was a climbing partner of Joe Brown both in the UK and in the greater ranges. He took part with Brown in the televised climb of the Old Man of Hoy. He also took part in a climb of the Eiffel Tower, which was televised on the ABC network's Wide World of Sports.[citation needed]


McNaught-Davis was the first non-Swiss holder of the post president of the UIAA (International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation) between the years of 1995[8][9][10] and 2004[11]

He became honorary librarian of the Climbers' Club in 1961.[12]

In 2012 he was a patron of the British Mountaineering Council.[13]

Private life[edit]

He married twice, having two sons, John and Simon, from his first marriage, and a daughter, Elvira Hurrell, from his second marriage to Loreto Herman.[5]


  1. ^ Pete (29 November 2009). "29 Alpine Club Dinner & BBC Micros?". Sterling Adventures website. Sterling Adventures 20091129. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Curran, Jim (1998). "Once In A Blue Moon". Alpine Journal. 103. 
  3. ^ "BMC Patron Ian McNaught-Davis (1929 - 2014)". Thebmc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  4. ^ "BMC Patron and former UIAA President Ian McNaught-Davis dies". International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation website. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Ed Douglas. "Ian McNaught-Davis obituary | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  6. ^ "25th anniversary of BBC Micro TV series". Drobe. January 13, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Past Events". Computer Conservation Society. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  8. ^ Goodwin, Stephen (December 2, 1995). "Mountaineers defend risks in the Highlands Mountaineers fight to retain risks in sport". The Independent. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  9. ^ Vaughan, Margaret (January 24, 1996). "Searching for a fall guy in a question of sport". The Herald. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  10. ^ Goodwin, Stephen (December 13, 1997). "Dumbing down the mountain". The Independent. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Blackshaw to head UIAA – er, maybe not… (3 Apr 2006)". Mountain Clients. June 2, 2008. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Officers of the Club" (PDF). Climbers' Club Journal. Climbers' Club. 13 (86): 268. 1961. 
  13. ^ "BMC Patrons". British Mountaineering Council. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  • The Alpine Journal, Vol. 66, No. 303, 1961. pp. 250–260, 1960 Greenland Expedition, John A Jackson, A. Blackshaw and I. McNaught-Davis.
  • Staunings Alps Expedition Guide, Gaston's Alpine Books - West Col Productions, 1972.

External links[edit]