Bernard Levin

Bernard Levin

Profile

1928 - 2004

Henry Bernard Levin, CBE, was an English journalist, author and broadcaster. After graduating from the LSE, it was expected that Levin would read for the bar - however he set a course for journalism with his first assignment for Truth under the pseudonym of 'A.E. Cherryman'.

His talent was spotted in 1955 when he was offered a column in the Manchester Guardian. He wrote for the Spectator from 1956 until 1962 - his departure was a shock to many who saw him as a natural successor for the publication's editorship. He would later write for the Daily Mail, and the Daily Express. His longest standing appointment was his column for The Times from 1971 to 1997. His frequent mention in this column of his favourite composer, Richard Wagner, became something of a standing joke (although he also often expressed his admiration for Mozart as well). He was a regular habitue of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Levin also appeared regularly on television, including the series Face The Music and That Was The Week That Was. In the latter he interviewed prominent politicians and influential thinkers of the day, usually with a lack of reverence which was the programme's hallmark. He was awarded his CBE for services to journalism in 1990.

He was renowned for his acerbic wit. On one occasion, during the live weekly edition of TW3, he was assaulted by a (much bigger) member of the audience for allegedly insulting the man's wife in an article he had written. His activities also got him blackballed when he tried for membership of the Garrick Club. In 1971 he wrote an article in the Times called "Judgement on Lord Goddard" which attacked the recently deceased former Lord Chief Justice.

He died in 2004 after a long battle with Alzheimer's.