James Alexander Gordon
A warm tribute’s been paid to broadcaster James Alexander Gordon who has died, by the journalists organisation of which he was an active member for thirty years. The Chartered Institute of Journalists said he would be greatly missed by his many colleagues and friends – but especially by all those who worked with him at Radio 2 and in the Institute.
President of the Institute, Paul Leighton who read news alongside “JAG” for many years at Radio 2, said he would always be remembered as a “loyal friend, a true gentleman and a thoroughly professional broadcaster”. ” He was always a consummate professional on air, but off duty he had a wicked sense of humour and was a marvellous raconteur” Leighton said that James was was famous -r possibly notorious – for his story of his chilling night-time encounter with the “Langham Ghost” – the Langham being a former Hotel opposite Broadcasting House where newsmen and announcers had bedrooms for covering “split-shifts”
After an early career in the music business, James started work as a newsreader/announcer at the BBC in the seventies – and began reading the classified football results in 1973. His unique cadences meant that listeners knew the outcome of a match after hearing only the first score. James joined the Institute of Journalists in the early eighties and soon became Vice-Chairman of the Institute’s Broadcasting Division and an active participant in Institute meetings and events. He was also in much demand as an after-dinner speaker and compere.
Although he formally retired from the BBC in 1992, he went on reading the soccer results for Radio5 Live until he had an operation for cancer on his larynx in 2013.
James leaves a wife Julia, son David and two grandchildren Molly and Martha.
Leighton said ” James was a one-off. No other broadcaster will ever be quite as instantly recognisable – or as much loved. Our thoughts go out to Julia and his family”