"I'm sure you expect me to say I'm sorry not to be with you tonight. Well, on the whole I'm not sorry. Radio broadcasters should be heard and not seen".
On October 15th this year these words, spoken by Alistair Cooke himself, echoed around Westminster Abbey, listened to by over 2000 friends, family and colleagues who had gathered to commemorate his life. They are also the opening words of this special Christmas Day BBC Radio tribute to Cooke, in which those friends, family and colleagues remember Cooke's broadcasting career and his rich and long life.
Alistair Cooke was a man of many talents and passions. He was a witty and erudite public speaker and essayist, a jazzman, a golf and tennis fanatic, a television presenter and a friend to the stars of journalism, politics, music, sports and Hollywood. James Naughtie presents this tribute to a renaissance man and icon of broadcasting.
James Naughtie presents a tribute to Alistair Cooke, who would have been 100 this week. Friends, family and colleagues remember his life and career in broadcasting, including the late Charles Wheeler and his biographer, the late Nick Clarke.
As well as his weekly Letter from America broadcasts, the programme appraises his work in television and as a public speaker and essayist, his interest in sport and jazz, and his many friendships with some of the leading lights of politics, music, sport and Hollywood.