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Personal tribute to Sir Ludovic Kennedy

(October 21, 2009)
NEWS that Sir Ludovic Kennedy had died at the age of 89 caused me to pause and reflect - not just on the passing of one of our truly great broadcasters but also the man who, unknown to him, had helped me land my first media job.
Way back in 1991 when I was up in front of a panel of interviewers I was asked which journalist or broadcaster did I most respect.
I unhesitatingly reply Sir Ludovic Kennedy because of how he had always been a champion of just causes and a dogged and unflinching one at that.
I'm sure the mention of his name went down well.
Now Sir Ludo has died in a Salisbury nursing home after spending so much of his life in Avebury with his late wife and ballet star Moira Shearer.
He was also a staunch Liberal and, like Robin Day, contested elections for the party in some of its most difficult years - fighting Rochdale at a by-election in 1958.
He fell out with the Liberal Democrats (didn't we all) over the issue of euthanasia and when he stood against Michael Ancram in Devizes in the 2001 election I finally got to interview the man.
They say you should keep your distance from your heroes as they will ultimately disappoint.
But Sir Ludovic didn't.
He was charming, courteous, urbane and answered the questions without any of the politicians usual guile and trickery.
I thought about telling him the story of how he assisted my employment prospects a decade before but I decided not to - but now I wish I had.

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