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.
It 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.
Hanrahan: “I counted them all out and I counted them all back”
BBC director general Mark Thompson said: “Brian was a journalist of unimpeachable integrity and outstanding judgement, but his personal kindness and humanity also came through. That is why audiences and everyone who knew him here will miss him very much.”
Former war reporter Martin Bell also paid tribute to a “quiet, decent man” who was “very thorough and very good at his job”.
“I never heard an ill word said about Brian Hanrahan,” he added.
Mr Hanrahan covered Asia from Hong Kong in the 1980s, reporting on the reforms of Deng Xiaoping in China, and the assassination of Indira Gandhi in India.
He moved to Moscow when Mikhail Gorbachev became the Soviet leader, returning to Russia in 2009 to interview the former president.
In 1989 he was present in Tiananmen Square, in Poland for the installation of the first non-communist government in Eastern Europe, at the fall of the Berlin wall and the Romanian revolution.
He then became a diplomatic correspondent – interpreting international affairs from London and travelling the world, particularly during the Balkan wars and the Middle East peace process.
In recent years, the correspondent had covered ceremonial and state events such as the anniversaries of D-Day and the funerals of Diana, Princess of Wales and the Queen Mother.
Following the terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001, Brian Hanrahan flew to New York to anchor special programmes.
Earlier this year he returned to Poland – from where he had reported on the rise of Solidarity – to cover the plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski.
He was a regular voice on BBC’s Radio 4 as presenter of both The World at One and The World This Weekend programmes.
Mr Hanrahan was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and his condition deteriorated after he was admitted to hospital with an infection 10 days ago.
Brian Hanrahan was born on March 22nd, 1949 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Hanrahan
March 22nd, 1949
3 + 22 +1+9+4+9 = 48 = his life lesson = what he was here to learn = Purpose. Meaning. Mission. Direction. Destination. Guidance. Goals. Aims. Worthwhile. Journey. Tour. Traveler. Tourist. Visitor. Road trip. On the road. Road map. Trucks. Convoy. Caravan. Tribute. Navigate. Wandering. The meaning of life. Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? What’s this life for? Your calling in life. Soul searching. Finding yourself. Seek and ye shall find. It’s not about the destination – it’s about the journey. If you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there. Where are you headed? To want to forget something is to remember it. Just living for today/the day. ”Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or stow away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” God gives every bird a worm, but he does not throw it into the nest. Send out into the world.