Thursday, 22 January 2015

Farewell Bob Symes

Robert Alexander Baron Schutzmann von Schutzmansdorff, inventor and television presenter, died on 19th January at age 90. He didn't fit in with the modern meja's dumbed-down short-attention-span ways, so is probably only known to the older generation. He was of the old school - knowledgeable, professional, courteous, literate. It's sad he has gone, though 90 isn't a bad innings. Here's an example of Bob's presentation style.

Click here to see Bob's presentation style.

For decades Tomorrow's World had some excellent presenters, Bob Symes, William Woollard, Raymond Baxter, James Burke and Judith Haan are the ones I remember. Intelligent people who had a real background in science, engineering, technology, and the ability to communicate clearly and well. 

Then BBC ditched these presenters and started employing celebrities, children's show presenters and even well-known sporting people to present the show, hoping to make it more appealing. However, they lost their core audience with the banal and inept presentation, and never did attract a new generation, which anyway was hell-bent on becoming bean counters, managers or celebrities.

Bye bye old chap! 



  1. Interesting post, you're certainly right about the BBC.

    As you seem to have an interest in various things technical and great enthusiasm Id like to invite you to join our email discussion group (free) at We're looking at the possibility of establishing a dedicated comms museum (in the northwest or midlands) covering not only telephone & data but also railway signalling and or aircraft comms, atc and so forth. We're a small group so everyones input is valued. At present we're looking for potential sites, sponsors and putting together a business plan

  2. Blimey - I'd forgotten about this guy.

    Sorry to hear he's gone. I remember him well from the 1970's science & technology programmes which helped inspire me to become an engineer.

    The dumbing down of science & technology in UK is a national scandal. We once led the world in science and engineering: now with a population of pen-pushing idiots, we can't even build our own trains.