This is a selection of archived articles by Ian Richardson -- most written before he began concentrating on books and screenplays. All are covered by copyright. Written permission is required from Preddon Lee Limited before any of these articles can be reproduced in part or in full.
The mystery of a missing portrait by John Bratby RA

Ian Richardson explains how a misdirected letter to a high-profile actor resulted in him being invited to sit for a portrait by one of Britain's most famous and infamous painters. And what happened to that painting? Read more

No back-up, so family photos lost

Her tweet was distressing. Wendy Hurrell, BBC weather forecaster (later turned reporter), reported that her laptop had been stolen. She could get another, of course, but what she had probably lost forever were all the "irreplaceable" and "priceless" photographs stored on it. Read more

The threat posed to our pictorial history by digital photography

An old photograph led family historian Ian Richardson to write a book that is now being turned into a feature film, but he wonders whether family photographs will survive the digital age. Read more

Bangladesh Diary

Ian Richardson's diary of a trip to Bangladesh in February 1999 to research God's Triangle, the true story of his Australian great aunt, Florence "Florrie" M. Cox, who got innocently caught up in a scandal after marrying a New Zealand-born Baptist missionary, the Revd. Frank E. Paice. Read more

How an old photograph led to a film contract

Ian Richardson, a former senior editor with BBC World Service radio and television, explains the story behind his book and screenplay, God's Triangle. Read more

Reba Rangan, the forgotten Australian opera star

Back in the first 30 years of the 20th century, Melbourne-born soprano Reba Rangan was one of Australia's most famous opera singers. But her hopes of international stardom were hampered when she needed to return to Australia to become her elderly mother's carer. And there are serious questions about the circumstances of her death. Was she murdered by a show-off surgeon? And what happened to her father? Read more For a print-quality copy (20MB), download from here.

Why a wedding photograph was so embarrassing

As a keen genealogist I have many family photographs that I would regard as “special”, but there is one that I wasn’t supposed to see. Nor were any other descendants of the couple who were pictured. The couple were my great aunt, Florence “Florrie” Cox, and the Rev. Frank E. Paice, on the day they were married in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in December 1914. Read more

The failed dream that led to Al Jazeera

Sunday, 21 April, 1996, is a date that will forever be burnt into my memory and the memories of the 150 or so former staff of BBC Arabic Television. It was the day that I killed off, at just over an hour's notice, my baby: a television service launched with high hopes and, given a fair wind, one that could have brought about sweeping changes in the media in the Arab world. Read more.

Arabic TV "monster"

The BBC loves celebrating an anniversary. But there are exceptions, and one of these is the anniversary of the closure of the corporation's ill-fated Arabic TV channel - a project that the corporation would dearly love to forget. Read more.

The sad first anniversary of the closure of the first BBC Arabic TV?

As BBC Arabic Radio begins an expansion, Ian Richardson looks back a year to when the BBC's first move into Arabic Television was forced to close. Read more.

Should BBC Arabic TV be revived?

A decade ago Ian Richardson was running the BBC's first ill-fated Arabic television newsroom. He still bears the scars and wonders whether the plan to revive the channel is a good idea. Read more.

Being true to "our boys"

There was a time - indeed, it could be argued that it is still with us on US television networks - when war correspondents understood what was expected of them. They were not there as entirely detached observers, though some did their best to be. Read more.

Television's Golden Age?

There are some broadcasting types who are convinced that nothing is ever as good as it used to be. To them the past was brilliant and the present and future are crap. They are what might be termed people from a Golden Age. But I don't much believe in Golden Ages. Read more.

By gum, it's another bloody eucalypt!

Let's get one thing straight, right away: I am an Australian and I love eucalyptus trees. But not in Britain! Read more.

BBC: How to save the World

Britain likes to boast that it punches above its weight, diplomatically, politically and now, once again, economically. Ever since WW2, it has also punched above its weight as an international broadcaster. The two success stories are connected. Read more.

Daisy Bates: rewriting of a legend, warts and all

South Australian-born writer Elizabeth Salter - in her biography Daisy Bates - was determined to set the record straight about the Grand Old Lady and her work with the Aboriginals. Read more.

Russell Braddon's Northern Ireland farce

Australian author Russell Braddon used ridicule in his 18th book The Progress of Private Lilyworth. Braddon wrote it in a month, limiting his research to what he read in the newspapers and to memories of a visit to Northern Ireland four years ago. He accepted that many people didn't think Northern Ireland was a subject to joke about, but he was unrepentant. Read more.

John Tusa and the "Save the World Service" campaign

Three former World Service Managing-Directors have made a renewed attack on the breakup of the BBC's World Service, calling for the changes to be reversed. Once again, John Tusa, Managing-Director from 1986-1992. Read more.

Birt's strike against World Service

You've got to hand it to Sir John Birt [now Lord Birt]. He knows exactly when to strike: just when everyone least expects it and just when they can do little or nothing about it. Read more.

Book Review: An analysis of war reporting -- or pretentious nonsense?

Anyone who pays good money for a non-fiction book has a right to expect that they will be informed, intellectually challenged and entertained -- and that the author, specially when that author is a professor at a top American university, should stick to points roughly pertinent to the title. Read more.

Book Review: Who Stole the News?

Mort Rosenblum is a Special Correspondent for the Associated Press in Paris. He is also very, very angry. At times, reading his book is like standing in front of a blast furnace fuelled by the trash of journalism and the broken promises of politicians. Read more.

Is broadcast news now a girls' game?

Back in the old days - a couple of decades ago - it would have been possible to enter a radio or television newsroom and see that everyone knew their place. The men would be in charge, of course, taking all the tough, courageous decisions and doing all the robust reporting assignments. Read more.

BBC: Bush House Diary

For most of this year my life is being dominated by the commitment to launch an Arabic-language satellite television channel for BBC World Service Television and its commercial partners, Orbit Communications. Read more.

Obituaries: John S. Richardson III and a career too short

Tributes to a talented and kindly Glasgow-born man who carved out a career in Victoria, Australia, as a provincial newspaperman, musician, lay preacher and humorist -- a career that was sadly cut short by cancer. Read more.

Obituaries: John S. Richardson II and the famous R34 airship

John Smith Richardson was my paternal grandfather, He was born plain John Richardson in Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1880, but his grandmother's maiden name, Smith, was added later. He was best known by his nicknames, Jock, Jake or Scotty. . Read more.

Obituaries: Rena M. Wood

The entertaining and inspirational life and times of an Australian provincial newspaper proprietor, craftswoman and enthusiast. Read more.

Obituary: Desmond Tocchini (The Amazing Ronricco)

By day, he was Des Tocchini, the amiable 3BO radio announcer with the rich and comforting voice. By night, he confidently strode the stages of packed theatres across Victoria, Australia, as The Amazing Ronricco, Hypnotist & Mentalist. Read more.

Obituary: Johan "John" Fleming Ramsland

None of the tens of millions of viewers watching BBC World, the BBC's television equivalent of World Service Radio, would have had the faintest clue that the Editor of this most-British television service was an Australian. Read more.

Obituary: James Thomas "Jim" Edwards

Former BBC World Service journalist Jim Edwards knew from the moment he stepped into the newsroom of a local paper in Cheshire as a young man that journalism should be his lifetime career. Read more

Obituaries: A. L. "Red" Harrison

A. L. "Red" Harrison, the BBC correspondent in Sydney for more than 20 years, never set out to be a broadcaster, but it was what gave him international recognition. And if it hadn't been for a traumatic event in WW2, his distinctive lived-in mahogany voice may well have had more than a touch of Geordie. Read more.

Getting the best from your local media

Establishing a rapport with the news media can take time. This is especially so if you have been getting what is considered "a bad press" in the past. A free guide to charities and community groups wishing to improve their relations with their local media. Read more.

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