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Alastair Hetherington


1919 - 1999

Journalist and editor, who became Controller of BBC Scotland. Born in Wales, the son of Sir Hector Hetherington, a noted academic. The young Hetherington came to Glasgow when his father was appointed Principal of the university there. He briefly trained as a sub-editor with the Glasgow Herald and, based on this limited experience and after his service in the Second World War, was appointed managing editor of the German newspaper Die Welt. Thereafter he returned to the Glasgow Herald but moved to Manchester Guardian in 1950, becoming its Editor. He oversaw its evolution into a national newspaper, becoming simply The Guardian in 1959. In 1975, he was invited by his friend Sir Michael Swann (1920-90), to become Controller of BBC Scotland. He did much to improve the journalistic quality of the regional broadcaster and produce programmes which were broadcast across the UK, however he clashed with senior colleagues. In 1982, he was appointed as Research Professor in Media Studies at the University of Stirling. After his retirement in 1989, he spent much time at High Corrie on Arran. He died in Bannockburn and lies buried next to his parents in Tillicoultry.


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