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Magnus Magnusson Obituary
Written by Paul Rance
Thursday, 11 January 2007
The death of Magnus Magnusson, who died of
pancreatic cancer on January 7th, 2007, saw the passing of one of
Britain's best loved TV presenters. Magnusson coined the
catchphrase, "I've started so I'll finish", in the BBC
quiz show which made his name - 'Mastermind'.
Magnus Magnusson was, in fact, Icelandic born (he was born in Reykjavík on October 12th, 1929), but he grew up in Edinburgh, where his father was Icelandic consul. Magnusson's career in the media began as a journalist for The Scotsman and the Scottish Daily Express, before he joined the BBC as a presenter of history and archaeology programmes, and then becoming presenter of 'Mastermind' in 1972.
Magnus was a President of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for a time, and was well known as a staunch defender of the Vikings, who are still unjustly reviled as barbarians by most history books, and he translated a number of books from Icelandic and Old Norse into English. He also wrote a history of the Vikings.
Magnus Magnusson is survived by a wife and four children, including TV presenter daughter Sally Magnusson.
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