1. Troyhand said:

    Glasgow Herald – 1 July 1988
    Russell Harty service

    TV and radio personalities joined hundreds of people in a farewell tribute to broadcaster Russell Harty in a memorial service in his home town of Blackburn, Lancashire.

    His friend and rival chat show host Michael Parkinson delivered the eulogy at Blackburn Catherdral for Mr Harty, who died on June 8 after a long battle against hepatitus B and liver failure. Among the congregation were staff and pupils of Giggleswick school in North Yorkshire, where he taught for more than six years before joining the BBC in 1967.

  2. Troyhand said:

    Glasgow Herald – 9 June 1988
    Harty never lost the art of laughing at himself

    To watch Russell Harty was to be offered one of two potions: cyanide or Horlicks. The eternal lad from Lancashire was the TV star you either loathed or loved.

    Once physically attacked on screen by singer Grace Jones because she thought he was ignoring her, he had his clothes ripped off by the Who pop group, and halted an Old Bailey secrets trial by allowing a blundering comment from a chat-show guest.

    The ultimate survival test followed a Sunday newspaper’s allegations about a rent boy last year. Harty lowered his profile for a while, although he had made little secret of his sexual inclinations.

    An interview with the Prime Minister went ahead, The Sunday Times continued to print his gossip column, and the world seemed not to have noticed.

    His career sparkled in London, but his roots were always in the North of England. He taught English and drama for 10 years at Giggleswick school, near Settle, in the Yorkshire Dales.

    From Queen Elizabeth grammar school, Blackburn, he won a State scholarship to Oxford, news his mother greeted with time-honoured Harty taciturnity. “I suppose,” she said, “you’ll be needing sheets and a tea pot.”

    After teaching at Giggleswick, he became a visiting professor of English literature at the City University, New York. In 1967, he saw an advert for a BBC radio producer.

    Totally without experience, Harty applied, got the job, and ended up producing such programmes as The Critics. In 1969, he moved to ITV, winning recognition as producer-director of an award-winning profile of Salvador Dali for the prestigious Aquarius arts programme.

    In 1980, he switched back to the BBC. “I want to be very, very rich,” he said. “I want to be so rich it really hurts.

    “I want a deep, vast reservoir of money which would buy me freedom. Then, I think I would go back to being a teacher.”

    The bachelor, once too poor to go on holiday, hired Bell Jet Ranger helicopters for his summer vacations, touring the Highlands and Hebrides. He lunched with the Queen Mother’s cousin, the Earl of Strathmore, at Glamis Castle and took along a TV crew to pay for it all.

    In 1986, he started prying into the affairs of personalities, including snooker star Steve Davis and the Prime Minister, for BBC-2’s Favourite Things and in the same year began a classic journey around Europe in the tracks of Britain’s pioneer tourists.

    It was after completing the series, called Grand Tour, that he fell ill and there was speculation that he may have picked up an illness on his trek around Europe.

  3. Troyhand said:
  4. Troyhand said:

    Kenneth Williams
    ‏@WilliamsDiaries ***1/3/87*** Article in the papers saying that Russell Harty has been shopped by a rent boy called Dean… sounded like a most sordid betrayal

  5. Troyhand said:


    Item name: Vista Video
    Street address: Unit 1-2, The Shambles
    Postcode: BD24 9EH
    Town or Suburb: Settle (North Yorkshire)
    Country or region: North Yorkshire
    GPS coordinates:
    Telephone(s): 01729 823 281

    Short description:
    Vista Video from Settle, business type: Photographers (General)

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