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Subject: Veteran BBC newsman dies aged 70

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/14/09 at 2:07 am

Former BBC broadcaster and presenter Donald MacCormick has died of a heart attack, aged 70.

The Scot anchored current affairs show Newsnight throughout the 1980s along with John Tusa and Peter Snow.

He also worked on several other BBC flagship programmes including Question Time, the Money Programme, Tonight, Newsweek and BBC World.

Mr Tusa said he was "professional, generous and selfless" and provided "a perfect foil to both Peter and me".

"He was an absolutely marvellous, generous and selfless colleague. He was part of a trio, providing an absolutely solid professional call and was just a perfect foil to both Peter and me," he said.

"He couldn't have been easier to deal with, there were never any arguments... he just did his job in an extremely professional way and was warm, generous and thorough."

Mr MacCormick's career began in Scotland in 1967 and took him to London in 1975. He had recently worked in the business sector.

He made a specialism of political news and analysis, for years commentating on the BBC's live coverage of the party political conferences.

He moved to London Weekend Television in the early 1990s, hosting a lunchtime news analysis programme and a special series during the Gulf War.

He returned to his homeland to present three seasons of political programmes for Scottish Television in Glasgow and on radio, hosted a current affairs programme on London News Direct.

His more recent move into the corporate sector saw him interviewing business executives, chairing conferences and helping with media training.

Although a journalist for most of his life, he had taught at the High School of Glasgow for five years from 1962 after graduating in English from the University of Glasgow.

Tim Gardam, the former editor of Newsnight, said: "Donald was always entirely focused on ensuring the programme aired with calm authority.

"Whenever he was anchoring Newsnight one knew that whatever the pressure of events behind the screen, none would be evident on screen.

"Once the programme was over he was tremendous company, with a dry and engaging wit."

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