ITV's voice of football Bob Colston dies aged 84

AN actor from the North East who went on to become one of the most recognised voices in broadcasting has died at the age of 84.

Bob Colston who worked on ITVs World of Sport
Bob Colston who worked on ITVs World of Sport

AN actor from the North East who went on to become one of the most recognised voices in broadcasting has died at the age of 84.

Bob Colston, who was born in Newcastle in 1928, read the football results on ITV’s World of Sport from 1972 until the programme ended in 1986.

A former pupil of Dame Allan’s School, Mr Colston took a degree in education at Durham University.

But while in the RAF on National Service he became interested in drama, having already been the president of drama societies at both school and college.

He was offered a place at drama school Rada, and though he turned it down, he auditioned for a BBC talent contest with fellow students, and was offered broadcasts in variety programmes as a comedy double act, Dan Douglas and Bob Colston.

Later they were offered their own series, The Air’s the Limit, which ran from 1949-1950 while both were still students.

The double act continued, but Mr Colston went into teaching in London, the Midlands and the North and for a spell in Canada, where he was principal of Loon Lake High School in Saskatchewan (1955-58).

When he returned to England, he left comedy for news, becoming one of the five announcers chosen to open the BBC’s North East newsroom.

From 1958-60 he was an announcer, newsreader, reporter and presenter on many types of programme for the BBC in Newcastle.

He regularly reported sporting events, including matches of his beloved Newcastle United FC.

In 1962, he left Newcastle and went to Birmingham, where he worked for ATV, first as a voice-over man and then as the education officer working on schools and adult education programmes.

In 1972 he moved to London and, after a stint at Radio London, he joined London Weekend Television where he became the voice of the classified football results on World of Sport.

Mr Colston continued as the voice of ITV’s football results when the service moved to ITN studios.

He clocked up 25 years of football results reading before he retired in 1999. He did make a brief comeback, filling in during the 2000-2001 season at Sky Television when they were short of a reader.

In addition to his TV work, Mr Colston lectured on public speaking and presentation for many years to a variety of institutions, including the MoD, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, several banks and commercial agencies.

Mr Colston was a long-serving member of his local talking newspaper for the blind, the Bromley Cassette, where he presented programmes from 1975, the year of its foundation, until retiring after 36 years of voluntary service in 2011.

He died of heart failure in the Royal Princess University Hospital, Bromley, on March 24.

He is survived by his wife, Alison, and one son, Paul.

A former pupil of Dame Allan’s School, Mr Colston took a degree in education at Durham

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