|Veteran broadcaster Charles Arrigo dies, aged 76
Picture from the Times of Malta
Monday 13th February 2006 - Veteran broadcaster Charles Arrigo, whose distinctive voice has narrated news, novels and national events on radio and television in a career spanning nearly 60 years, died this morning aged 76.
Mr Arrigo, who has been described as "the dean of broadcasting", collapsed at Public Broadcasting Services where he was conducting his work as a broadcaster to which he had dedicated a great part of his life. He passed away in St Lukes hospital.
Mr Arrigo's career in broadcasting started in 1947 when he became the first Maltese male-announcer to be employed with Rediffusion, the cable radio network.
His death was announced a few hours later before the scheduled last episode of the novel Qalb Ta' Omm (A mother's love) was broadcast. His colleagues at PBS expressed the depth of loss that they felt - he had been a friend, a colleague and a consummate professional of broadcasting.
Born in Valletta on April 6, 1929, Charles Arrigo studied at the Lyceum and at Perugia University.
During an interview four years ago he had explained how he fell into the profession of broadcasting "by chance' when he applied for a post as a broadcaster with Xandir Malta to earn some money while he awaited results. - The rest is history.
In 1947, a young Mr Arrigo, with his impeccable accent, became the first Maltese male-announcer to be employed with Rediffusion Limited - imprinting his voice into the minds and hearts of the Maltese public.
A distinguished career in broadcasting followed. In 1950 he was appointed producer of drama and documentaries, in 1971 he became the assistant head of radio programmes and, three years later, he was appointed head of drama and documentaries. Then, in 1987, he was promoted to deputy head of Xandir Malta.
In 1991 he was appointed executive director on the board of Public Broadcasting Services and Manager Television Malta.
Mr Arrigo was given the opportunity to attend a BBC production course as announcer and newscaster on the BBC World Service in 1959. He returned to the BBC for training for television in 1962.
The veteran was best known for his commentaries on state and religious occasions and for his dramatized readings of Maltese novels on radio.
Young TV viewers know him as Il-Kurunell in the TV Series Villa Sunset. His last live commentary was the installation of Gozo Bishop Mario Grech.
Throughout his career, Mr Arrigo was also involved as an actor with the British Institute players and the Atturi Theatre Group.
In 1995 he was awarded the M.Q.R. medal (Midalja Ghall-Qadi Tar- Repubblika).