Students Staff

25 November 2013

Tributes to Professor Peter Frank

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 3:39 pm
Professor Peter Frank

Professor Peter Frank

Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow is among those who have paid tribute to Professor Peter Frank, who died on Thursday 14 November.

He told viewers at the end of last Tuesday’s evening news: “He was a great friend to many of us and will be sadly missed.”

Professor Frank was regularly on Channel 4 News during the 1980s and 1990s providing expert analysis during the collapse of the Soviet Union and in its aftermath.

Channel 4 Political Correspondent Michael Crick said via Twitter that Professor Frank was a “great expert on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. And a true gentleman.”

Many other former colleagues and students paid tribute online and via Twitter.

Journalist Mark Lloyd, who worked with Professor Frank during his time at Channel 4 News, said: “During the late 1980s and early 1990s when it seemed an impending catastrophe was unfolding in Eastern Europe he was the commentator that we reached out for.

“Newsrooms, especially before the smoking ban, tend to be rather untidy (if not downright slovenly) places. Yet Peter did not bat an eyelid as he perched next to a spilt coffee cup and overflowing ashtray to explain in simple terms what may or may not have been going on inside the Kremlin. And he put up with us fools with graciousness.

“His calm presence was a tonic. His smile was a ray of sunshine, and he always had one.

“Whenever crisis and panic threatened to overtake the headlines Peter was on hand to lend common sense and, in his interviews, gravitas, stability and immense knowledge.

“If the media is characterised as being ‘the first draft of history’, Peter took us, rather swiftly, to a better insight.”

Professor Frank’s funeral takes place on Monday 2 December at 2.45pm at Colchester Crematorium. The family have asked that there should be family flowers only but donations may be made to British Lung Foundation for research into pulmonary fibrosis, c/o Hunnaball of Colchester, York House, 41 Mersea Road, Colchester CO2 7QT.

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