Sir Robin Day
Sir Robin Day
by Rosemary Beaton
oil on canvas, 1985
60 in. x 48 1/4 in. (1526 mm x 1225 mm)
Commissioned as part of the First Prize, 1984 John Player Portrait Award, 1985
Linked publicationsback to top
- Gibson, Robin; Clerk, Honor, 20th Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1993, p. 38 Read entry
After studying at Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Union in 1950, and training for the Bar, Sir Robin Day followed a career in journalism, first as a freelance reporter and later with ITN and the BBC. A bid in 1959 to join the ranks of the Liberal Party as an MP was unsuccessful, but it was as a political commentator that Sir Robin rapidly rose to the top of his profession. His influence was evident in numerous current affairs programmes, such as Midweek and Panorama on television and The World at One on radio, and the authoritative manner and tough interviewing style particularly associated with Question Time became a model which many of his successors have followed.
Rosemary Beaton won the Gallery's Portrait Award in 1984, at the age of 21, and this portrait was commissioned by the Trustees as part of the prize.
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 168
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1985back to top
Current affairs55 people die in the Manchester air disaster when a British Airtours Boeing 737 bursts into flames after an aborted takeoff at Manchester International Airport.
Art and scienceBob Geldof and Midge Ure organise Live Aid, a rock concert in London and Philadelphia, to raise funds for famine relief. The biggest names in popular music, including Paul McCartney, Queen, Status Quo, The Police, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, U2, The Who, and Led Zeppelin, performed to a TV audience of 1.5 billion.
The British Antarctic Survey discovers a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica.
InternationalReformer Mikhail Gorbachev comes to power as first secretary of the Soviet Communist party. He calls for 'glasnost' (openness) in Soviet life, and pursues a policy of 'perestroika' (reconstruction).
French intelligence operatives sabotage Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace vessel. The ship was leading a protest against French nuclear testing in New Zealand when it was bombed and sunk, killing one of the twelve on board.