Richard Dimbleby became a household name as the BBC’s first frontline radio reporter in 1936. With the arrival of postwar television, he led the coverage of all major events on the new medium. As ‘the Voice of the Nation’, his death from cancer in 1965 at the age of 52 shocked the British people. Their response led to the establishment of the charity which bears his name. Read about his life and work – from warfronts to great state occasions to the ‘spaghetti tree’ hoax.
Richard Dimbleby was the voice of the BBC on thousands of occasions, and on hundreds of occasions I think he was even the voice of the nation.
Richard Dimbleby Cancer Fund
The charity was founded in 1966 following the untimely death at 52, from cancer, of Richard Dimbleby, one of Britain’s best loved broadcasters. Richard contracted cancer at a time when its mere mention was a taboo. His decision to go public did a huge amount to challenge and overcome that taboo. Richard’s early death shocked the nation. They wanted to mark their respect in some way, so Richard’s widow, Dilys, suggested they should send donations with which to set up a charity to support people with cancer. The response was huge, and thus the Richard Dimbleby Cancer Fund was established. In 2005 the charity adopted the working name Dimbleby Cancer Care and the work at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London continues under this name today.