David Hatch dies at 68

Comic turned BBC exec

Sir David Hatch, the comic performer turned BBC executive, died last night at the age of 68.

He made his name performing alongside John Cleese, Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim-Brooke Taylor in the Sixties radio comedy I’m Sorry I'll Read That Again.

They had all met as members of Cambridge University’s Footlights, group, and took their 1963 revue show A Clump Of Plinths (later renamed Cambridge Circus) to the West End and Broadway.

The following year, I’m Sorry I'll Read That Again was born, and it ran until December 1973.

Hatch went on to produce shows such as Week Ending and Just A Minute, before moving into management. He served as head of radio light entertainment and controller of Radio 2 and Radio 4, eventually becoming managing director of BBC network radio in 1987. He left the corporation in 1996.

BBC colleagues have paid tribute to his work.

Jenny Abramsky, director of BBC audio and music, said: ‘Sir David Hatch was one of the greats of BBC radio.

‘He was a performer, a leader and an inspirer of people. He led the radio Light Entertainment department with verve and joy.

’He was a terrific controller of both Radio 2 and Radio 4 and as managing director of BBC Radio he modernised and ensured that radio thrived in an increasingly competitive world

‘No one in BBC radio has ever had such a wide ranging and successful career.’

Hatch, who was knighted in 2004, had been suffering from a long illness.

Published: 13 Jun 2007

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