Brian George Wenham

Member of The Hundred

Brian George Wenham
Birth and death
1937 - 1997
Profession details
Broadcasting Executive
Related place
Alistair Grant

Brian George Wenham (1937-1997), broadcasting executive. Between 1962 and 1969, he worked in production and editing at Independent Television News (ITN). In 1967, ITN launched News at Ten, its groundbreaking half-hour prime time news programme, which was the leading news programme for over thirty years. Wenham was the programme's first editor, and gave it its title. In 1969, at the age of thirty-two, he moved to the BBC to edit its flagship current affairs programme, Panorama. Two years later, he was promoted to head of the BBC television current affairs group, and in 1978, he was appointed to controller of BBC2. However, it was as Director of Programmes for BBC Television, between 1982-85 that he made his most significant contribution to British broadcasting. He successfully defended the principle of state-funded, public service broadcasting to Sir Alan Peacock's review of the BBC's funding, which was instigated by Margaret Thatcher. This resisted the implementation of free-market theory (commercial advertising as funding) in response to Thatcher's belief in the left-wing bias of the BBC. He lived and died in Weybridge, and is buried at St James's Church.

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