WORLD-OBITS-L ArchivesArchiver > WORLD-OBITS > 2007-06 > 1180968985
From: "Peter McCrae" <>
Subject: [W-OBITS] BASTABLE: Anthony Leslie Bastable 29.May,2007
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 15:56:25 +0100
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 02/06/2007
Tony Bastable, who has died aged 62, was one of the first presenters of the
Thames Television children's magazine show Magpie and subsequently worked as
a producer, writer and presenter on many other programmes and series.
Transmitted twice a week from Thames's Teddington studios, and initially
presented by Bastable, Susan Stranks and Pete Brady, Magpie was billed as a
groovier and less bourgeois version of the BBC's Blue Peter and contained
items on pop music and fashion as well as more educational fare. Its mascot
was a magpie called Murgatroyd.
Although Magpie never vanquished the BBC's more venerable and firmly
established show, it won large audiences. Even though Bastable moved on
after four years, in 1972, to become the show's producer, three decades
later he was still often stopped in the street and asked whether he was
"that man from Magpie".
Anthony Leslie Bastable was born on October 15 1944 at Hexham. After
University College School at Frognal, north London, he worked briefly in
local newspapers and as a teacher before, in the early 1960s, he spotted an
advertisement for a television news reporter at Southern Television, one of
the country's larger regional broadcasters. He applied but was turned down
as "too young"; instead they gave him a job presenting one of the station's
Within 18 months he was working with the Midlands-based national television
company ATV as a presenter of children's shows and later of sports magazine
and schools' programmes. In 1968 he moved to the newly-formed Thames
As well as presenting and producing Magpie, Bastable wrote, produced and
presented numerous one-off historical and current affairs programmes and
presented and commentated on outside broadcasts and sporting events. He
wrote and presented 1776, ITV's celebration of the bi-centenary of American
Independence; presented Problems, a late-night series focusing on personal
relationships; and wrote the commentary for the English Garden series,
presented by Sir John Gielgud.
Subsequently he fronted the consumer protection series Money-Go-Round, which
ran for nine years, and co-presented the motoring show Drive-in and its
sequel, Wheels Matter.
In Mind over Matter, which he devised with Kit Pedler, he presented the
first-ever television investigation of paranormal phenomena. He was both
editor and presenter of Thames's Database throughout its four series, and
also of its Channel 4 sister programme For Computer Buffs. In Could do
Better? Bastable tackled education, and in The People Rule, local politics.
He also worked on radio - usually as a panellist.
Eventually he moved into independent production and produced numerous
training and promotional films for clients such as the Ford Motor Company,
the National Bus Company, the Royal Navy, the Department of Transport and
the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
In addition to his broadcasting and film work, Bastable was the co-author of
two books for children and wrote biographies of John Cabot and Ferdinand
Magellan (both published in 2003).
Other literary projects included the book and lyrics for a musical, and the
libretto for an oratorio.
A qualified cricket umpire, Bastable was founder of the Institute of Cricket
Umpires and Scorers (ICUS). In his spare time he enjoyed watching old films
and West End musicals and messing about with his classic Morgan sports car.
Tony Bastable died of pneumonia on May 29. He married first, in 1969, June
Buchan. They divorced two years later and he married secondly, in 1974
(dissolved 1992), Jackie Colkett, with whom he had a daughter.
In 2001 he married Anita Westwood, who survives him with his second wife and
|[W-OBITS] BASTABLE: Anthony Leslie Bastable 29.May,2007 by "Peter McCrae" <>|