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Richard Whitmore

Hitchin Band Welcomes Richard Whitmore as their new President

Hitchin Band Welcomes Richard Whitmore as their new President

Richard is a life-long resident of Hitchin. He began his career in the 1950s as a reporter on what was then the town's main newspaper, the Hertfordshire Express. After many years as a television newsreader with the BBC he is now enjoying a 'third age' career as a freelance actor, writer and broadcaster. His first professional acting role was with the late comedian Bernie Winters in a national tour of Underneath the Arches, in which he played Chesney Allen, straight man of the great comedy duo Flanagan and Allen.

He also starred in several pantomimes and television shows, including Only Fools and Horses and was one of the presenters for Best of Brass, a popular BBC2 series featuring competing brass bands from all over England. He says he reached the peak of his television career in 1977 when he appeared with fellow newsreaders in front of 29 million viewers to sing Nothing Like a Dame in The Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show. In December 2007, thirty years after the original recording, he was invited to recall the experience in the UKTV Gold programme, Morecambe and Wise - the Greatest Moment.

Richard is Founder President of Hitchin's Queen Mother Theatre, which Her Majesty opened in 1983 and he recently fronted a successful appeal for 250,000 towards the cost of building a Youth Wing for the theatre. He has written several books, including Hertfordshire's Queen, the story of The Queen Mother's life-long association with his home county. His tenth, published in 2007, is called The Ghosts of Reginald Hine. This authorised biography charts the eccentric and tragic life of the famous Hitchin lawyer and historian who died in 1949.

As Film Archivist for Hitchin Historical Society, Richard recently launched the society's first DVD A Century of Old Hitchin on Film which features remarkable movie images of townspeople celebrating the 1911 Coronation of King George V. This includes what is sadly only a glimpse of Hitchin Band accompanying singing of The Old Hundredth by church choirs in the Market Place.

Richard and his wife Wendy celebrated their Golden Wedding in 2007. They have four daughters and nine grandchildren.