Aubrey Singer

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Aubrey Singer (21 January 1927 – 26 May 2007) was the BBC's first Scottish television producer from 1952 to 1953.

Early life

Singer was educated in Yorkshire, at Giggleswick school, and then at Bradford grammar school, which he left at 17 to become a trainee film editor at the British Gaumont Studios.

He directed a couple of films for the armed services, did extensive film work in Africa from 1946 to 1948, followed by a spell in Austria on children's films.[1]

BBC career

Singer joined BBC Television in 1949, assigned to outside broadcasts. Of his many assignments he was responsible for the first programmes from Edinburgh and Glasgow after the Kirk o’ Shotts transmitter opened.

In July 1952, at the age of just 25, he was appointed the BBC's first Scottish outside broadcasts producer.

Singer left Scotland in September 1953 to become television liaison officer in the New York office of the BBC — a position he held for three years. James Buchan succeeded him as 'outside broadcast producer, television, Scotland'. George Runcie was appointed to the new post of 'television organiser, Scotland'.[2]

From 1974 to 1978 he was controller of BBC2.

Then, from 1978 to 1982 he was managing director of radio.

His two years as managing director of television from 1982 to 1984 saw an attack on the Corporation by Douglas Hurd, then a Home Office minister, for screening a trashy import, The Thorn Birds, while ITV basked in the glory of The Jewel in the Crown.


  1. 'Obituary: Aubrey Singer, The Guardian, 28 May 2007.
  2. 'BBC Scottish Changes, Courier, 26 September 1953, 4.