In 2015, for an Iconoclasts mini-series of Theard Side of the Coin, the very gracious Katharine Whitehorn CBE was the subject of one programme. It was announced on Saturday she has died, aged Ninety two.
Interviewed in her basement kitchen, she demonstrated through the pace of her words a consideration which rested across the wide horizon of her long, thrilling, audacious life.
A trail blazer who enjoyed the opportunities Fleet Street afforded to a bright young thing in the 50’s, she took in her stride the sky-high obstacles which convention seemed content to allow. I’m sure they were extremely vexing at the time but when asked, she brushed them aside as merely a reality to be conquered.
Madly in love with her husband long after his death and maternal to her core, Miss Whitehorn was sharp and stylish as a scimitar whose wisdom came from a no-nonsense compartment of kindness while her compassion seemed to slop over the rim.
She did much to promote opportunities for female journalists by getting on with the job, weaving herself into its fabric rather than becoming a knot-to-be-messed-with sort of writer. Deeply feminine, she used her platform to benefit others, not as a shouty plinth.
Hear for yourself what majesty soaked through her voice by a life lived to the outer edge of its generosity of spirit and vitality: a redoubtable, genial, thoughtful writer.
God speed, Katharine Whitehorn 17.iii.28 – 8.i.21