Friday, 20 January 2012

Plaque of the Week No.103: Edward R. Murrow

You've seen them all over the city: discs, tablets, cameos and plaques commemorating the great and the good of London Town. Friday is our new day for tracking down London plaques (Blue or otherwise) and putting them centre stage on the Daily Constitutional. This week…

103: Edward R. Murrow

Where: 84 Hallam Street, Westminster

Edward R. Murrow (1908 – 1965), the American broadcast journalist who worked at CBS for his entire career, moved to London in 1937 to head up the network’s European operations.

During the war he reported on air from Blitz-beleaguered London. He is famed in both broadcasting circles and the folklore of World War Two for his famous intro and sign off.

His broadcasts always began with the words “This… is London” – always with a slight, but dramatic pause after the word “This”. There were few places more dramatic than London in 1940.

His sign off is equally famous: “Good night. And good luck.”

Murrow’s ear had been caught with the oft-repeated simple phrase “good luck”, which was appended to many a conversation at the height of The Blitz – a time when Londoners knew not what the night would bring, or indeed if that would ever usher in a morning. Even Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) had used it in a radio broadcast (“good night and good luck to you all”). Murrow incorporated it as an off the cuff ad-lib in 1940 and a catchphrase was born.

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