Steve Hewlett

Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture 2017

Steve Hewlett, the distinguished media commentator and programme maker, passed away on 20 February this year after a very public battle with cancer.  He lived his last days through memorable encounters with Eddie Mair on PM and BBC Radio Four and his cancer diary in the Observer.

His good friend Nick Robinson, BBC Radio Four Today presenter and former Political Editor for the BBC, will give the inaugural Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture on 28 September at the University of Westminster.

Charlotte Moore's Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture | Full Video

BBC Director of Content, Charlotte Moore, delivers the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture 2018, a joint initiative by the RTS and the Media Society.

Moore talked of the threat to British content for British audiences with the rise in popularity of US streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, and spoke of the key ways the BBC will aim to promote content bespoke to Britain in the future.

To donate to the Steve Hewlett Memorial Fund, please visit www.rts.org.uk/SteveHewlettFund.

BBC's Charlotte Moore highlights the importance of British TV at the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture

Delivering the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture, Moore echoed recent remarks made by BBC Director General, Tony Hall, in which he called for more funding for the BBC or investment in U.K. programmes would fall still further.

“In this new, US-dominated media environment, we run the risk of seeing fewer and fewer distinctively British stories.

“In a world of incredible, unprecedented choice, the irony is that British audiences may find it harder and harder to choose the stories that matter to them most,” said Moore.

Nick Robinson discusses the challenges facing journalism at the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture

If traditional broadcasters are to thrive in an era of social media they need to emulate some of the best qualities of Steve Hewlett’s journalism. That was the essence of the first Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture, given by BBC broadcaster Nick Robinson, a friend and colleague of Hewlett’s.

Robinson outlined the challenges facing BBC News and other traditional news broadcasters in a heartfelt talk delivered to a packed auditorium at London’s University of Westminster.

Stewart Purvis takes on the Great North Run for Steve Hewlett Memorial Fund

The former Chief Executive of ITN and Ofcom regulator made the decision to take part in the Great North Run on what would have been Hewlett's 59th birthday.

He said of his decision, “It seemed the perfect moment to confirm I was going to do it. I have shaken off a few injuries, which I picked-up during training and I will definitely get round the half marathon course."

Remembering Steve Hewlett

Steve Hewlett (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Large and crumpled in appearance, looking askance at the world through badly treated glasses, Steve resembled a character from the pages of Michael Frayn. It was no surprise to learn than Steve was a rugby player.

His distinctive Midlands’ tones were invariably part of the background noise to any media event worth attending.

At Cambridge or Edinburgh, Steve’s presence was de rigour – whether talking, beer in hand, until past midnight in the bar or up on stage interviewing, say, Elisabeth Murdoch or David Abraham.

Watch: Steve Hewlett in conversation with Roger Bolton

Steve Hewlett is the presenter of Radio 4’s Media Show and was previously the editor of Panorama. In that role, he was responsible for some of the key scoops of the last 30 years, including the exclusive 1995 interview with Princess Diana watched by nearly 23 million people.

He reflected on his life and career at this Media Society event, held with support from the Royal Television Society at the BBC Radio Theatre.

With thanks to John Mair for producing the event and to the BBC for the clips.

Event report: An Evening with Steve Hewlett

So it is with Steve Hewlett, presenter of Radio 4’s Media Show and a person who is responsible for some of the most important TV scoops of the last 30 years.

The 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana, edited on his watch, was seen by almost 23 million viewers.

Hewlett has also worked on programmes covering The Troubles in Northern Ireland, including a film on Bloody Sunday, and tracked down Colonel Gaddafi.  

Back in March, Steve was told by doctors that he was suffering from a very aggressive form of cancer.