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The man who won HTV for Wales; Retrospective Wales:This year marks the 35th anniversary of Harlech Television. Here, Brian Morgan looks at life with his late brother, John, widely credited for winning the franchise for Wales and the west of England.

JOHN Morgan was an outstanding journalist, at one time the highestearning freelance reporter in BBC television.

It was hard to keep up with his globetrotting for the BBC Tonight programme, Panorama and later This Week on ITV.

Photographs would turn up of John on a film set with the Burtons filming Cleopatra, interviewing Nasser, the Egyptian president, or with a film crew in Russia.

So when John told his family he was planning a take-over of the ITV franchise, with Sir Geraint Evans, Richard Burton and Stanley Baker among others, it did not seem so farfetched.

Richard and Elizabeth Taylor were coming round for dinner, so this was not unusual by comparison.

As John said, he had discovered that decisions about Welsh television were being made in a boardroom in England and that it was time for a change.

John was the second oldest of four brothers, of whom I, the youngest, am the only one surviving. We were born in Treboeth, Swansea, between 1928 and 1939. Our father, Charles, came from a family of wealthy builders, but his own business failed because of untimely land speculation.

When John went to Swansea Grammar School he edited the school magazine in succession to Dylan Thomas. At Swansea University he New Statesman, where he was later deputy editor. After his national service he went to live in Cwmafan with his wife Mary.

John's funeral service was held at St Alban's Church, Treboeth, built, ironically, by his father. A measure of the great respect that John had earned for himself in Wales in his own lifetime was the presence in church of the Morriston Orpheus Choir. To him, there was no greater accolade.


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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 19, 2002
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