BBC Light-hearted lectures
from Broadcaster David Shute
David made history when he was the first person to broadcast 'live' to a National audience whilst flying through the Sound Barrier. A former BBC network Reporter and latterly Senior Talks Producer at the BBC's Pebble Mill Studios, he has a distinctive 'BBC' voice, which is hugely appreciated by cruising and after dinner audiences.
David was schooled at Brentwood in Essex. "Even in those early days my ambition was to be a broadcaster", he recalls.
After leaving Brentwood he started work in Reading as a trainee photographer. National Service interrupted this budding career. He served with the Royal Engineers 42nd Survey Regiment in Cyprus during the EOKA troubles. "Those two years taught me lessons about life and people which have served me well ever since," he says. His high security clearance was to have benefits many years later in civilian life.
Back from the Army he joined an air survey company occasionally flying on survey missions.
At weekends he helped out at one of the weekly newspapers taking photographs. His destiny progressed. Little by little the captions he wrote became stories until one day The Berkshire Chronicle invited him to join them as a reporter. Two years later he was head hunted by the opposition, The Reading Standard.
During this time he helped to found Hospital Radio in Reading.
An opportunity to help the BBC, who had chosen Reading as the base for a test operation into local broadcasting, came his way. From contacts made during this experiment he was invited to a gruelling audition at the BBC's studios in Bristol and was engaged on the spot as a broadcast reporter serving National and Regional output.
He soon established a reputation for adventurous reporting with a talent for making the best of live outside broadcasts. "It was a series of Boys Own adventures", he says.
His former army background made him a trusted journalist in the eyes of the Ministry of Defence. Service units in the trouble spots of Borneo, Aden and the Radfan Desert welcomed him.
After four years 'out on the road' he came inside and finished his term with the BBC as Senior Talks Producer, Radio, at the Pebble Mill studios. Here his enthusiasm for outside broadcasts earned him large post-bags from listeners to such programmes as ‘Woman’s Hour’.
David has always been keenly associated with the Theatre. As a BBC Producer he was a familiar figure at First Nights at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford on Avon. He regularly employed some of the leading lights from the Company in such programmes at ‘Book at Bedtime’ and ‘Morning Story’.
He was seduced away from the BBC by Europe's largest producers of Greeting Cards where he established a thriving Communications department. After ten years he and the company parted in the most amicable circumstances and he set up his own business with his former employers as one of his key clients.
David Shute Associates staged conferences, produced corporate video programmes and even produced the occasional pretty girl out of a birthday cake.
The client base included, Powergen, Fine Art Developments, The Provident Financial Group, Babcock Engineering, Price Waterhouse, Burton Inns, East Midlands Airport and Morgan Stanley.
"We never advertised. All our work came by introductions from agreeable and happy clients", he says.
On the side he set up Melbourne Crystal, a company making a full range of full lead glasses and associated items.
Both companies were sited in the picturesque town of Melbourne in South Derbyshire. And yes, that's the town, which gives its name to the place in Australia.
On retirement David, with his wife Jane, moved to the town of Calpe on Spain's Costa Blanca. "It's nice to wake up most mornings to find the sun's shining", he says.
Full retirement proved to be short-lived because he soon found himself travelling the world as a Guest Speaker aboard cruise ships.
"If life's a series of chapters then this one is particularly good because Jane goes with me and can enjoy the experience too", he smiles. His voyages include ships of P & O, SAGA, Cunard, Fred Olsen, Page & Moy and Cruise & Maritime. With three Grand Voyages behind him, as well as numerous shorter trips around the world, David has decided to only accept invitations for shorter trips. “We have a very pleasant home up in the Old Town and some very good friends. So we’ll have more time to enjoy them and the many other things which Spain has to offer”.
At home in Calpe he plays an active part in the Rotary Fellowship Club.
His motto - which is tagged to every email he sends - is “Remember, Today is NOT the Rehearsal”