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Copyright: Ian D. Richardson Email:


 (First published in the BBC's Prospero staff newspaper, April 2014)


James Thomas "Jim" Edwards, BBC ,  c1988

Born: February 6, 1936
Died: January 14, 2014

Former BBC World Service colleague IAN RICHARDSON pays this tribute...

Jim Edwards knew from the moment he stepped into the newsroom of a local newspaper at Northwich in Cheshire that journalism should be his lifetime career.

He felt he was among his kind of people, even if at first this meant doing menial non-journalistic jobs, along with covering Women's Institute meetings, weddings, funerals, minor football matches and reviewing local amateur dramatic productions.

Indeed, when he was later to join BBC World Service (then called External Services), he regarded these lowly beginnings as an essential part of a journalist's career development.

Jim, born James Thomas Edwards on February 6, 1936, in Crewe, was educated at Cheshire's Sandbach School. On the completion of his journalist indentures, he was called up for National Service and posted to Cyprus as a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Army Service Corps during the emergency in which Greeks on the island sought union with Greece.

His National Service over, Jim sought work abroad and spent three years in Kampala as Chief Reporter on the main English-language newspaper, the Uganda Argus, followed by two years with the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

Jim's eventual employment in the newsroom at Bush House in 1968, initially on a short-term Summer Relief contract, was as though a hand was being placed in a perfectly-fitting glove.

He quickly established himself as a fast, clear and accurate writer, dedicated to the World Service ethos of fairness and balance. He admired and loved BBC World Service with a passion and became one of the two Editors for the Day in the newsroom, preceded by short reporting stints in Washington, the Middle East and London.

His career was interrupted by a heart attack in 1984, and a few years later, he decided to retire from the BBC. He then spent 10 years doing television and business training at the K College in Kent.

Jim succumbed to cancer on January 14, 2014, and was buried in the grounds of his historic local church, All Saints, Tudeley.