After many years as a television newsreader, Richard has been enjoying a ‘third age’ career as a freelance actor, writer and broadcaster since leaving the BBC. He began work as a journalist in 1951 on the Hertfordshire Express, a local newspaper in his home town of Hitchin, where he still lives, and joined the BBC as a staff reporter in 1964. After spending nearly 10 years ‘on the road’ covering major events of the time, he was appointed a studio presenter in 1973 when he was chosen to be one of the regular anchor men for BBC Television’s Nine O’Clock News.
Richard’s first professional acting role was with the comedian Bernie Winters in a 1989 national tour of Underneath the Arches, in which he played Chesney Allen, straight man of the great comedy duo Flanagan and Allen. He has also starred in several pantomimes at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage and in numerous television shows, including Only Fools and Horses. He says he reached the peak of his television career when he played one of the celebrity ‘sailors’ in that much-repeated song-and-dance number ‘Nothing Like A Dame’ in The Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show!
Richard is Founder President of The Queen Mother Theatre at Hitchin, which Her Majesty opened in 1983. He has written several books, including Hertfordshire's Queen, the story of The Queen Mother's life-long association with his home county. This was followed by ‘Hertfordshire Privies,’ a popular paperback about thrones of a rather different kind. His tenth, published in 2007, is called The Ghosts of Reginald Hine. This authorised biography is the first full account of the eccentric and tragic life of the Hertfordshire historian who died in 1949 when he threw himself in front of a train at Hitchin station.
Richard and his wife Wendy have four daughters and nine grandchildren.