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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

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Lecture to be given in journalist’s memory

THE CHAIRMAN of the BBC trust is to deliver a memorial lecture in the name of a Barrow-born journalist who was murdered by the IRA.

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PHILIP GEDDES

Philip Geddes, a reporter for the Daily Express who was killed in a terrorist attack in 1983, is to be remembered at the annual lecture in his honour by Lord Patten at Oxford University on February 15, to mark the 30th anniversary of his death.

Every year there is a Geddes Memorial Lecture at Oxford, which has been in the past given by the likes of Jon Snow and Jeremy Paxman.

This year’s annual Geddes Lecture will centre around the theme of “trust and free speech”.

The talk is to remember the day in December 1983 when the journalist was murdered in a car bomb attack at Harrods in London.

Mr Geddes was shopping in the exclusive Knightsbridge store with his girlfriend on December 17, 1983, when customers were told to evacuate.

However, Mr Geddes’ journalistic nature knew there was a story to be had and he went to investigate.

The bomb was detonated by the IRA outside one of the store’s entrances.

A total of 95 people – 80 civilians and 15 police officers – were injured in the explosion. Six people were killed as a result of multiple injuries.

Philip Geddes went from Barrow Grammar School to Oxford University, where he took part in university journalism.

He returned to London after a spell in Los Angeles and New York, where he pursued an acting career.

Mr Geddes, son of Barrow tailor Michael Geddes and Norah Geddes, began his journalism career at the London Evening Standard and then joined the Daily Express, where colleagues predicted even greater things for him.

The Philip Geddes Memorial Prize was set up in 1984 at Oxford University where, where Mr Geddes had studied at Edmund Hall College.

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