|Born||Reginald Tindal Kennedy Bosanquet
9 August 1932
|Died||27 May 1984(aged 51)|
|Resting place||Putney Vale Cemetery|
|Alma mater||New College, Oxford|
|Known for||Presenter of ITN News at Ten|
Bosanquet, of Huguenot descent, was the only child of the England cricketer Bernard Bosanquet (credited with inventing the googly). His great-great-grandfather was Sir Nicolas Conyngham Tindal, Lord Chief Justice (1829–1843), through whom Bosanquet was senior lineal representative of the ancient Scales barony, although he never sought to establish his claim to the title and a seat in the House of Lords.
Bosanquet was educated at several independent boarding schools: at Ashbury College in Rockcliffe Park in the city of Ottawa; Wellesley House School, in the seaside town of Broadstairs in Kent; and Winchester College in the city of Winchester in Hampshire, before going up to New College at the University of Oxford, where he read History.
Bosanquet was on the staff of ITN from its earliest days, initially as a sub-editor. He later reported from many parts of the world and was diplomatic correspondent for four years. He briefly became head anchor of ITN from 1974–1976, when Sir Alastair Burnet left to join the BBC's Panorama programme.
His partnership with Anna Ford on News at Ten was popular with viewers in the late 1970s. As Ford has since revealed, this rapport could prove distressing: on one occasion Bosanquet, having somehow discovered the birth-date of Ford's mother, wished her a "happy birthday" at the end of the broadcast, unaware that she had died some time previously. Ford recalled in 2007: "Reggie was a dear. I mean, you wouldn't have chosen a man who had epilepsy, was an alcoholic, had had a stroke and wore a toupée to read the news, but the combination was absolute magic."
Although held in considerable affection by the public (he was commonly addressed by family, friends and the media as "Reggie"), Bosanquet was not without his critics as a newsreader. At times he could appear puzzled by unfamiliar foreign names while his trademark slurred delivery fed contemporary suspicions that he was a heavy drinker. Such rumours became raw material for wags and comedy writers: Bosanquet acquired such nicknames as "Reginald Beaujolais", "Reginald Boozalot" and "Reginald Boozatten" while Sir Richard Stilgoe noted that an anagram of 'Reginald Bosanquet' was 'ITN Square Gone Bald'.
Bosanquet was elected Rector of the University of Glasgow in 1980, serving until 1984. He was a controversial choice; shortly after his election he hit the headlines when he turned up at an official reception late and drunk, and insulted various guests, including the Lord Provost of Glasgow (and his eventual successor) Michael Kelly.
In 1980, Bosanquet "sang" (or, more accurately, narrated the lyrics in the style of a newscast) on the disco single "Dance With Me". It was voted #1 in the Bottom 30 by listeners of British DJ Kenny Everett.
Bosanquet married three times and had two daughters, Abigail and Delilah. He died from pancreatic cancer on 27 May 1984, aged 51 and is buried at Putney Vale Cemetery. Bosanquet's death was overshadowed by that of comedian Eric Morecambe, who died the following morning, aged 58.
- Eddie Dyja "Bosanquet, Reginald (1932-1984)", BFI screenonline
- Reginald Bosanquet Publisher: Wellesley House School. Retrieved: 2 May 2013.
- Bill Hagerty "Anna Ford: Try a little tenderness", British Journalism Review 18:3, 2007, p.7-16
- Evening Standard, 15 May 2000
- Everett, Kenny. "The Bottom 30: 1980", Capital Radio, 1980-04-04. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
John L. Bell
|Rector of the University of Glasgow