ABC's By Design host Alan Saunders Passes Away
23rd June, 2012
ABC Radio National broadcaster, and host of By Design, Alan Saunders died suddenly on June 15 in St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney after contracting pneumonia.
Originally from London, Dr Saunders presented several programs on food, design and architecture for the national broadcaster after joining the science unit in 1987.
"Alan was a man with an extraordinary intellect, and he has made an enormous contribution to the ABC, indeed to Australia's intellectual life, over more than two decades,'' the ABC's director of radio Kate Dundas told ABC staff.
"He will be greatly missed by all of us, our audience and the broader intellectual community.''
ABC colleagues said Saunders felt ill and was taken to hospital on Thursday from the ABC at Ultimo, but his condition deteriorated overnight and he died surrounded by friends at midday..
He had underlying health problems and spent time in hospital earlier this year.
Alan was born and educated in London. He studied philosophy at the University of Leicester, where he was also president of the students’ union, and Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics. He came to Australia in 1981 to pursue research in the History of Ideas Unit at the Australian National University and was subsequently awarded a PhD.
Having joined the Science Unit of ABC Radio National in 1987, Alan Saunders founded The Food Program. From 1997 to 2004, he was the presenter of Radio National’s The Comfort Zone, a weekly review of architecture and design, landscape and food and in 2005 he was co-presenter of Saturday Breakfast. He presented By Design and The Philosopher’s Zone for the station.
Alan has written about food and other topics for various publications. He is the author of A is for Apple (Random House) and his first novel, Alanna, was published by Penguin in 2002. He is in demand as a public speaker and has been a judge for many food, architectural and design awards.
In 1992 Alan Saunders was awarded the Pascall Prize for critical writing and broadcasting.