Andrew (as his mum I always used his full name) Black was born in Portsmouth Hampshire. At nearly 8lbs with a shock of dark hair and violet eyes he was a healthy and very strong baby. As a toddler we nicknamed him “super baby” as he was so strong he could lift chairs with one arm. Full of energy and curiosity, he was always laughing and loved lots of cuddles.
This is the eulogy I wrote for Andrew’s funeral service at Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral, he was buried just four days before Christmas on 21st December 2007.
My Wonderful Andrew
From the day you were born on 2nd September 1983 I adored you, protected you like a lioness takes care of her cub and cherished you. I remember your first steps, words, smile and the very first time you saw a butterfly in your nannies garden. The delight, wonderment and happiness on your face made me see that butterfly again as if for the very first time. That joy at seeing, discovering and finding something new to experience never left you…it was a wonderful childlike ability which you carried through into adulthood. A straightforwardness, genuine capability that held you in good stead throughout your growing years and which helped you become the sensitive, caring, honest young man you were.
From the age of fourteen Andrew lived breathed and spent every spare moment working in the media, travelling to London during his school holidays (and even when he should have been at school!) to work at what was then known as Talkradio in Oxford Street, London. For nine years his association with the station now called talkSPORT continued as did his passion for producing radio.
Alongside this he developed his career in TV working for the BBC on quiz programmes such as Test the Nation, documentaries like The Week the Women Went, as well as children’s programming for cbbc. He also worked for sky one, ten alps, Carlton and Citv as well as corporate work in advertising and voice overs. He also just missed out on being a children’s television presenter, apparently they preferred a female blonde ex beauty queen instead of the handsome Andy!
Christine and Andrew New York Central Park, Xmas
He used to come home and tell me about the people he had met the scripts he had written and the mishaps during live broadcasting. Always with a smile and always enjoying the high adrenaline rush that comes from broadcasting by the seat of your pants in a live studio whilst producing high quality material.
I remember him presenting a pilot show for television in the manner of Candid Camera his enthusiasm and energy for the many different projects he was involved with, never stopping or sitting still always moving on to the next show, programme or idea.…All of which made me very proud and somewhat astounded that what was once a shy and rather determined little boy had grown into a wonderfully talented and confident young man.
His tenacity and capacity for work was astonishing and its something that showed itself during his first school report from the reception class in Infant school which said “Andrew works extremely hard in every aspect of school life almost to the point of overwork .He is cheerful courteous helpful and considerate to others”. These sensitive qualities Andrew took with him throughout his shortened life even in the sometimes hard edge environment of newsrooms, television and radio studios he was always a gentleman……I would say….a very gentle man…..
Andrew was my sun, moon and stars to me he was his own man but also listened and respected others and what they had to say.
Although he could be hours in the bathroom, spent even more time straightening his hair and was more of a shopoholic than me, intense to a degree about cameras, scripts and radio, he was the most joyous and kind person. A young man of high integrity and morals who would never knowingly hurt or harm anyone. He was honourable and although he could have a wicked sense of humour was never crude or disrespectful.
As Andrews mother I like to pay tribute to a remarkable young man who has touched many peoples lives full of energy, observational skills and depths of talent that were just emerging. I will miss his deep laughter his quirky sense of fun, our chats about everything and everyone, his thoughtful and caring nature. He always championed the underdog and hated injustice of any kind but most of all I will miss his beautiful violet eyes, his “hallo mum” and beaming face when he came through the front door or I picked him up from the railway station after a long shift in town.
My beautiful beloved Andrew how Emma and I will miss you through the days and years ahead but we will also cherish the happy times we shared, the wonderful years of travelling the world together, the hugs, cuddles and laughter the essence and uniqueness that was my only son Andrew.
Thank you Andrew for being my son, for loving me, and the laughter and joy you gave me during your too short life.
Thank you for being my north my south my east and west…….my wonderful number one son.