The Making of a Legend

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July 1, 2012 by dontbringlulubook

From humble beginnings grew a true pioneer in news broadcasting.

Ron Onions

Ron Onions

Ronald Edward Derek Onions started life on 27th August 1929 in Enfield, north-east London.  It was not an easy life, but then he would not have wanted it any other way.  Ron was a fighter, a worker – let’s not lead a life because people say you have to live it a certain way.  No.  He lived by his morals.

Edmonton County grammar school provided Ron with his education and active service in the RAF during the war turned him quickly into a man.

His first journalistic experience was with the Enfield Gazette and Tottenham Herald, later spanning out to include the Brighton Evening Argus.

Needless to say his talents did not go unnoticed and in 1961 Ron was approached by the BBC.  He helped to set up news operations in Southampton before being shipped over to America.  There Ron became the BBC’s first news organiser in New York.

It was not long before his abilities were showcased, covering such events as the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, as well as NASA’s Apollo missions.

With these notable successes behind him, Onions returned to the UK in 1973.  He moved into the area of independent radio, building up the news service within the newly formed station Capital Radio.

Ron was in demand and in 1974 a struggling LBC saw an opportunity.  They appointed him head of the station in an attempt to revitalise the output.

Onions not only brought the station back from the brink, he helped to ensure its reputation as a major news force.

The idea of short, sharp bulletins were born out of his experience in America and are now commonplace in both radio and television reporting.

Jazz formed an important part in his life and in 1990 this love urged him on to become the first Programme Controller of Jazz FM.

Onions has been a major presence within the field of journalism, launching the careers of Jon Snow and Peter Allen to name but two.  His determination pushed the boundaries of independent coverage during the Falklands War in 1982 and even today his influence continues to be felt by all reporters.

Throughout his life Ron was supported by his family – wife Doris, daughters Sarah (who is herself a journalist) and Louise.  Lulu, as she was lovingly known, sadly died two years ago and Ron’s final work was in her name.

Don’t Bring Lulu’ is a story of Louise’s life.  A life that was full of trials and triumphs.  Living with hypothyroidism is not easy but it is all the more fulfilling when you succeed.

Ron Onions passed away on 27th May 2012.

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