Alvar Lidell

The BBC broadcaster and announcer Alvar Lidell was born to Swedish parents in Surrey UK on 11 September 1908. Lidell achieved renown as a BBC wartime newsreader, and was the first Senior Announcer for the BBC Third Programme. He introduced the BBC invitation concerts for two decades, as well as presenting numerous promenade concerts, recitals and music programmes.

He was a trained singer, possessed of a fine baritone voice, and gave recitals with, amongst others, Gerald Moore. He was a sought-after narrator for William Walton's Facade, Schoenberg's A Survivor in Warsaw and Rawsthorne's Practical Cats, and gave the world première of John Tavener's The Whale.

Tall and suave, Alvar Lidell was for many the epitome of BBC English, a cause he espoused till he died, aged 72, on 7 January 1981. His nephew, Classical Music Daily contributor Roderic Dunnett, broadcast a two-hour radio tribute.