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Subject: BBC correspondent Brian Hanrahan dies at 61

Written By: Philip Eno on 12/20/10 at 12:24 pm

Brian Hanrahan, one of the most famous BBC correspondents - best known for his coverage of the Falklands War - has died at the age of 61 after a short battle against cancer.

His reporting spanned the reshaping of Nato and the EU, as well as conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Middle East.

As the BBC's Far East, and then Moscow correspondent, he watched dramatic changes unfolding in China and Russia.

He covered Tiananmen Square and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

t was in the Falkands War in 1982 that he made his reputation, famously counting the returning Harrier jets to ensure he could report the story and get round MoD restrictions.

He said: "I'm not allowed to say how many planes joined the raid, but I counted them all out and I counted them all back. Their pilots were unhurt, cheerful and jubilant, giving thumbs-up signs."

Paying tribute to what he called "a big character", the BBC's world news editor Jon Williams said Mr Hanrahan "would always be remembered for an extraordinary story and an extraordinary turn of phrase".

He said it was his "longevity" and his "tone" that marked the reporter out.

"He could always be relied on to find the right word at the right moment... and he was loved by the audience," Mr Williams said.

He added that the correspondent had recently been scheduled to report on the last flight of the Harrier jets, which are being scrapped because of spending cuts.

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