Nicholas Owen

Nicholas owen

The guest speaker for January was the well-known TV presenter Nicholas Owen and, as expected, he drew a packed audience. Effortlessly, without the need for any visual aids, he took us through his career to date. He explained that he moved into journalism after leaving school, initially with the Surrey Mirror before moving on to the Evening Standard where he benefitted from an apprenticeship which would serve him well as his career progressed. From the Evening Standard he progressed to the Financial Times before moving on again. This time to a lucrative but short period with the ill-fated Now Magazine.

In 1981 he saw that there were vacancies at the BBC and duly applied - only to find himself offered a role as Regional Journalist for the North East - a far cry from his Southern background. However, he accepted this position and spent a most enjoyable time based in Newcastle upon Tyne being involved in, inter alia, local politics, football and chat shows and, in the process, learning how to put on a TV programme.

In 1984 he was on the move again. This time it was to Channel 4, which needed rejuvenating at that time. He was the Business and Economics Correspondent and also co-presented a lunchtime programme. During this part of his talk he described some of the intricacies of presenting live on television with an auto cue, with the producer talking in your ear ,and the Control room in front of you. He also included some anecdotes about when matters didn't go exactly to plan.

From 1994 to 2000 he was the Royal Correspondent for ITV and got to know the members of the Royal Family very well but revealed no dark secrets! He did, however, subsequently write a book about Princess Diana.

He spoke about the recent introduction of ‘Rolling News’ and how this made it even trickier with the storyline being continually updated and the presenter having to be fully on his/her toes to deal with instant changes.

He became a main presenter for ITV's lunchtime news from 2003 to 2006 but in 2007 re-joined the BBC as a relief presenter for some of its other news programmes. He also currently has a Saturday afternoon programme on Classic FM.

This conclusion brought us up to date on a thoroughly interesting and entertaining career, and was rewarded with a well-deserved round of applause. He then answered questions from the audience which was followed by more applause.