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Milne felt this should be reflected in the BBC, and he gained a measure of independence from London during his five years in the job, learning much about the Byzantine intricacies of the corporation's politics, which would stand him in good stead later.He developed a laid-back management style, typified by his tendency to slip his shoes off during meetings in his office and put his feet up on the desk.

Together with Antony Jay, another former Tonight producer (and later co-writer of the long-running comedy Yes, Minister), the pair formed one of the first independent production companies – Jay, Baverstock and Milne, or JBM.

They made marketing films for industry and a few documentaries for ITV, but after little more than a year Baverstock went to Yorkshire TV while Milne joined a consortium to bid for the Scottish ITV franchise.

The Welshman's somewhat dismissive manner alienated many of the powers at TV Centre and he failed to get the job of Controller of Programmes, for which his seniority and ability seemed to entitle him.

So Baverstock left, and Milne resigned in sympathy.

Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.

It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year.When the restriction was lifted, the BBC decided to fill 40 minutes of the time with current affairs.Baverstock and Milne came up with the blueprint for the long-running Tonight programme, a mixture of serious and light-hearted segments with a quirky twist, which pioneered a new style of relaxed and intimate presentation and made stars of such as Cliff Michelmore, Alan Whicker and Fyfe Robertson.Despite having lived in Edinburgh for only a few childhood years he still identified strongly with Scotland and enjoyed playing the bagpipes – even if those who heard him found it hard to judge how well he had mastered the instrument.He was, anyway, keen to move north of the border with his family.It was no doubt meant to put visitors at their ease, but some found it disconcerting.