Tributes to well-known Anglia TV presenter

Bob Wellings was a familiar face on Anglia TV and Nationwide. Here he is pictured at his 80th birthday celebrations

Bob Wellings was a familiar face on Anglia TV and Nationwide. Here he is pictured at his 80th birthday celebrations - Credit: EMMA WELLINGS

Bob Wellings will be a familiar name to many as he was well known for his appearances as a presenter on Anglia TV and the national TV show Nationwide. 

During his time on the regional channel, he conducted interviews for About Anglia, speaking to a wide range of people from farm labourers and pub customers to local celebrities, such as the novelist Angus Wilson and composer Benjamin Britten. 

He also spoke to international stars, including the American-born violinist Yehudi Menuhin before moving to the BBC’s Nationwide current affairs show, which he was involved with from 1971-1980. 

Mr Wellings died on March 1 aged 87 at Beech House care home in Halesworth. 

A photo of Bob with his family

A photo of Bob with his family - Credit: EMMA WELLINGS

He was born in Jerusalem to an oil geologist father, while his mother was from Texas and the family moved to Amersham in Buckinghamshire. 

A teacher by trade, he came by the Anglia TV job by chance when he met a senior staff member at the channel on a train, who suggested that he attend an audition. 

He was also involved with the Cambridge Footlights amateur dramatic society and worked at BBC Southampton in between his time at Anglia TV and Nationwide, which combined regional news, political analysis and discussion of consumer affairs. 

Bob Wellings (right) at his 80th birthday celebration with fellow TV presenter Michael Barratt

Bob Wellings (right) at his 80th birthday celebration with fellow TV presenter Michael Barratt - Credit: DAVID LOMAX

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Mr Wellings met his ex-wife Penny Tennyson, a secretary from Walberswick, through her step-father Michael Jeans, who worked for Anglia TV and the couple married in 1963. 

They have three children - Emma, Matthew and Sophie. 

He died at home after being discharged from hospital following a fall which fractured his hip. 

Outside of work, he enjoyed the outdoors and visiting places in East Anglia or the east of England, including Southend, Clacton, Aldeburgh and the Norfolk Broads. 

Ms Tennyson, 82, said: “The person you saw on screen was very much who Bob was in real life.  

"People from all walks of life immediately felt at ease with him.  He was a bright and sensitive man, and totally at home with interviewing anyone and everyone, except perhaps pop stars as he really didn’t know much about modern music.  

"He made us laugh in 1979 when he was asked to co-host The British Rock & Pop Awards.  Fortunately, the only song he knew – Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty – did win an award that year.

"Bob didn’t really have many outside hobbies. He just enjoyed meeting and talking with people – I think that was his favourite hobby.  

"We would regularly have people round for dinner parties, where he would hold court and regale everyone with his funny stories and tall tales, which were made funnier by Bob anticipating his punch line and starting to roar with laughter before he even got to it.”