Archive for January, 2007|Monthly archive page

Naomi Sargent 1933-2006

Naomi Sargant memorial

Went yesterday evening to an inspiring memorial service at St John’s church, Smith Square, SW1 for Naomi Sargant, champion of adult education and free education for all. Naomi set up the Education department at Channel 4 when it was founded 25 years ago this year. Jeremy Isaacs (founding Chief Executive of Channel 4) spoke, as did David Puttnam (current board member)

I last saw Naomi on 13th June at the RTS Awards, the evening we picked up an award for Breaking the News, a project addressing Media Literacy, one of Naomi’s passions. She told me that evening she wasn’t well – she passed away a month later.

I was working with her on 21/7 (2005) when further bombings were attempted in the wake of the 7/7 bombings. We were at the DfES doing work on the relationship between Public Service Broadcasting and Education in the UK when the news of the bombers started coming in. Because the meeting had been so hard to arrange and the time available was so limited, we soldiered on and got the job done, as undistracted as possible. Very Naomi.

The gathering last night reminded me of the heritage of Channel 4 Education and gave me a real sense of taking on the flame…

One of Oscar’s

oscar wilde

 A couple of interesting quotations I came across this morning (first day back at work so in need of plenty of displacement activity):

“Simple pleasures are always the last refuge of the complex.” – Oscar Wilde

“Pleasure is the object, duty and goal of all rational creatures.” – Voltaire 

“The inward pleasure of imparting pleasure – that is the choicest of all.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Wilde and Voltaire sit on the Shelf of Honour at home, Hawthorne I haven’t read – the man has a point, very Christian too (if you’re into that kind of thing). Difficult to gauge dear, dear Oscar’s without the context – do the Complex need to be more attuned to the Simple Pleasures and come to them earlier? And as for Voltaire, was he being straight in the context? Shi-it, quotations are of limited value after all…

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