Nicholas Witchell: BBC royal correspondent who King Charles once described as ‘awful’ retires

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell is retiring after 47 years in service. 

The BBC’s royal correspondent who was famously described by the King as an “awful” man is retiring after nearly five decades with the corporation.

Veteran broadcaster Nicholas Witchell, who has covered the royal family since 1998, will retire next year after joining the broadcaster as a graduate news trainee in 1976.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In 2005, the then Prince of Wales was caught on a microphone making remarks about Witchell who had asked a question about the royal’s upcoming nuptials to Camilla Parker Bowles during a photoshoot in the Swiss Alps.

He said: “Bloody people. I can’t bear that man. I mean, he is so awful, he really is.”

The BBC said: “After 47 fantastic years we will be bidding farewell to royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell, who will be retiring next year.

“Nick has reported from across the world and presented key BBC News shows. Thank you for your remarkable service!”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Witchell broadcast the confirmed news of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales on August 31 1997 and provided live radio commentary from outside Westminster Abbey at her funeral.

The 70-year-old first joined the BBC after finishing a law degree at Leeds University, later becoming a BBC reporter in Northern Ireland in 1979 covering the assassination of Earl Mountbatten and the IRA hunger strikes during his several years in the role.

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell is retiring after 47 years.BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell is retiring after 47 years.
BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell is retiring after 47 years. | Getty Images

He then became a news reporter for television news in 1982 where he covered the Falklands conflict, as well as covering Margaret Thatcher’s 1983 general election campaign for the BBC, before returning to Belfast to become the BBC’s Ireland correspondent.

He was one of the founding presenters of the Six O’Clock News with Sue Lawley in 1984, before becoming the main presenter of the re-launched Breakfast News programme from 1989 to 1994.

Witchell then returned to frontline reporting for the BBC, for Panorama, and then as the BBC’s royal and diplomatic correspondent from 1998.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.