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Former BBC radio boss dies aged 82

A FORMER controller of both BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4, Ian McIntyre, has died aged 82.

Mr McIntyre, originally from Banchory in Aberdeenshire, worked with the BBC intermittently for 30 years from 1957 until 1987, often making controversial decisions which regularly enraged listeners.

The broadcaster, whose cuts and changes earned him the nickname 'Mack the Knife', leaves behind two sons and two daughters. His wife, Leik Sommerfelt McIntyre, died in 2012.

The former radio boss, who died on Saturday night, began his career as a producer in the BBC's Topical Talks Unit, after completing National Service.

He spent much of the 1960s working for the Conservative Party in ­Scotland, before returning to the BBC as a freelance making documentaries around the world.

Mr McIntyre was then asked to present a new current affairs programme called Analysis.

In 1976, he was appointed controller of BBC Radio 4, and set about introducing changes to the station's news output, which he said was over-reliant on current affairs and suffered an "impoverishment of human material".

He controversially cut the Today programme in two, placing a light magazine show in the middle of its timeslot, prompting a revolt from both listeners and BBC staff. After a year the programme was reinstated in full.

His tenure at BBC Radio 3 from 1978 to 1987 was a much quieter time.

In later life, he was associate editor of The Times and wrote biographies of poet Robert Burns, artist Sir Joshua Reynolds and John Reith, the BBC's first director general.

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