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Veteran newsreader Alastair Burnet dies aged 84
10:33am Friday 20th July 2012 in News
Veteran newsreader and journalist Sir Alastair Burnet, known to many for his years fronting News At Ten, has died at the age of 84.
The presenter, who last hosted the nightly ITN bulletin almost 21 years ago, died following a series of strokes.
Sir Alastair was also a trusted face and voice for national occasions, anchoring several general elections and the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales.
The broadcaster Andrew Neil called him "one of the greatest journalists of his generation".
A statement on behalf of Sir Alastair's family said: "He passed away peacefully in the middle of the night at the Beatrice Place Nursing Home in Kensington, where he was being cared for after suffering several strokes."
Sir Alastair also had a distinguished career as a print journalist, editing publications such as The Economist and The Daily Express.
Although remembered for his ITV work during the early and later stages of his career, he spent a short period at the BBC working on Panorama and fronted the two general election programmes of 1974.
As well as his many election broadcasts for ITV as a reporter and presenter, he also led ITN's coverage of the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969.
Mr Neil said: "Alastair was one of the greatest journalists of his generation, as much at home in print as TV news and current affairs, where he was a legendary figure as Britain's premier newscaster and anchorman.
"He played a pivotal role in the rise of ITN as Political Editor, interviewer and newscaster; he launched ITN's News At Ten, Britain's first dual-anchored, half-hour newscast - the most successful newscast in British broadcast history; and he will always be remembered for presenting historic live events, from numerous election nights - on BBC and ITV - to US space launches to major royal events.
"He will also always be recalled by family, friends and colleagues for his unparalleled professionalism, humour and gentlemanly kindness, especially to journalists starting out on their careers.
"Joy it was to be in his company and he was an inspiration to many who followed in his footsteps - the broadcasters' broadcaster.
"There will be many who wish to pay tribute to him in the days ahead."