IT is with great sadness I announce the death of my uncle Rod Pounsett (my mum’s young brother).
Rod started his career as a reporter and photographer on the Worthing and Shoreham Heralds in the early 1960s.
He went on to host a daily show on BBC Radio Brighton in the 1970s – one of the very first phone-in radio shows – and later became senior producer for the BBC Radio 4 Today programme. He was at the helm when they reported the death of John Lennon in 1980 and the great storm of 1987.
He also worked for the Daily Express and started the first western news bureau in Moscow after the end of the Cold War.
He had a troubled personal life, but he was an amazing journalist and a good uncle.
I had not seen Rod for many years, but he was the person who got me into journalism when I was just 17 years-old, by securing me an interview with the editor of my local newspaper. I have many happy memories of listening to off-the-record tapes of interviews he had with the likes of Denis Healey, Jim Callaghan, Jimmy Young, Norman Tebbit, Clive James and many others.
It took a further 10 years before I became a fully-fledged hack, but it was Rod who started me off.
He passed away yesterday aged 76. More about him here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rod-pounsett-6551891b
I will write a more lengthy eulogy in my blog at the weekend.
This appeared on Hold The Front Page on 17 December: http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2015/news/former-regional-reporter-and-post-cold-war-pioneer-dies-at-76/