Julian Worricker part of the team of BBC presenters commentating on the Queen’s state funeral

Image above: Julian Worricker broadcasting from King Charles’ Proclamation on Saturday from St James’s Palace

Julian Worricker is a familiar face around Chiswick. The BBC TV and radio journalist was at the Chiswick Book Festival on Sunday chairing a session, having broadcast live from the proclamation ceremony of Charles III on Saturday.

He will be part of the team covering the Queen’s coffin moving from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday, and then the culmination of her state funeral in Windsor on Monday for BBC Radio 4.

He has written a guest blog for The Chiswick Calendar website on his feelings about being a part of this momentous state occasion.

The privilege of being a journalist

by Julian Worricker

When I’m teaching the journalists of tomorrow, as I do at two universities in London, I always talk about the privilege of the job.  By that I mean the privilege that I and others have to witness major events, to ask questions of key individuals, and to hear the stories from people caught up in the news of the day. That theme of privilege has been at the forefront of my mind in recent days, as I’ve joined BBC radio colleagues in trying to convey the enormity of the death of a much-loved monarch and the immediate accession to the throne of her eldest son.

For some time now I’ve known what my role would be during the coverage; I don’t think it’s a great secret that the BBC – both on television and radio – has planned and rehearsed for this moment.  I knew I would be at St James’s Palace for the proclamation ceremony of Charles the third on the first full day after his mother’s death, and I knew I would then guide listeners through similar ceremonies around the UK a day later.

At St James’s Palace I had a rooftop vantage point, overlooking Friary Court.  The ceremony itself, largely unchanged for hundreds of years, was short, respectful and vibrantly colourful.  Can there be a brighter scarlet than that worn by the military unit taking part or shinier brass instruments than those held by the musicians on parade?

The privilege of the job comes not just from the formal, planned moments but also from the chance ones.  It took us a while to get into the building, and while I was waiting at one doorway I was asked – quite urgently – to move aside. As I did so, I turned around to see no fewer than six former Prime Ministers walk by.  For the record May was talking to Major, Blair to Brown, Cameron to Johnson.

I’ll keep that sense of privilege in mind as I prepare to commentate on the Queen’s coffin moving from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday, and then again as I witness the culmination of her state funeral in Windsor on Monday. These are remarkable times, and I’m very fortunate to witness them.

Image above: Julian Worricker

Julian Worricker is a presenter for the BBC News Channel’s rolling news and the BBC World Service’s ‘Weekend World Today’ programme. He has been a familiar voice on BBC radio since 1985 presenting on various programmes across BBC Radio 4, including ‘Any Answers?’, ‘You & Yours’ and ‘Last Word’. 

Over the years he has reported from around the world on breaking international news stories, covered UK general elections, commentated on Royal events, and announced Ryder Cup and Ashes victories. Julian was entertainingly ‘photobombed’ by the Queen, live on BBC News, when she visited the BBC news room. Over the years he has won several broadcasting and journalism awards.

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Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Mourning the Queen – some events cancelled, others not

See also: Tributes to the Queen

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