Monday, December 03, 2012

Passing of former ITN Chief Engineer and # 13 The Absurd

When I was a mere youngster of 21 I applied for work in the TV industry and was lucky enough to get the opportunity to work for the commercial TV news supplier ITN  (then based in Wells Street, W1) the people interviewing me for the job were Norman King and Peter Ward the Deputy and Chief engineers respectively.
In those days broadcasting was a very different business with only 3 channels in the UK and nothing like a 24 hour service - news was shot on film and VTRs used 2"  tape (it was colour though).
Peter was a most professional and patrician figure - it was a great time where the industry was well staffed and money was not an issue for pay or equipment (Thank you ACTT).
After over 20 years since he retired I saw Peter earlier this year at an ITN engineering reunion  and he remained the same charming guy.
I was saddened to hear of Peter's death (Norman died some time ago),  there are many people in broadcasting who had the good fortune to come into contact with him who will reflect on the changed nature of TV news and the broadcasting industry.

And now big idea Number 13 The Absurd.

The ascension of scientific fact over religion (things like Darwin's 'On the origin of Species' ) and the loss of confidence engendered by the first and second world wars led a dearth of faith amongst the intelligentsia.

So came about a tendency to view life as Absurd.
Some of the modern figures around The Absurd (and existentialism) are Albert Camus and Samuel Beckett
(Waiting for Godot is cited as an example of absurdist theatre) and from ancient times 'The Myth of Sisyphus" as referenced by Camus see above.