Tom Boswell

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Tom Boswell
Tom Boswell.jpgBoswell in 1989.
Full Name Tom Boswell
Nationality Flaguk.png Great Britain
Birthday 30th August
Sex Male
Occupation Presenter of Top Gear (1977 TV series)
On-screen debut Top Gear: Series 6, Episode 5 (1981)
Final appearance Top Gear: Series 23, Episode 6 (1990)

Tom Boswell (boz-WULL) was an Indian-born British motoring journalist who presented for Top Gear from 1981 until 1982 as a motorcycling correspondent, before becoming a full-time host from 1988 until his untimely death in 1990.

Career[edit | edit source]

Born on the 30th August, 1943[1] in Simla (now Shimla, Himachal Pradesh), Boswell was the descendent[2] of English civil servant J.A.C. Boswell, who arrived in India in 1860. He would live most of his life in Reading, and made his broadcasting debut in 1975[3] for BBC Radio 2. He'd present various sporting events during this time, including the 1978 running[4] of The Boat Race, during which Cambridge's boat famously sank. He'd make his first television appearances that same year, helping to present That's The Way The Money Goes[5] under lead presenter Sue Cook, where the pair helped viewers to buy a second-hand car.

On Top Gear[edit | edit source]

Tom Boswell appeared on Top Gear for the very first time in 1981, presenting a piece[6] on the danger of driving with bad tyres. He reappeared[7] the following year to focus on a unique-designed British motorcycle suspension, before retiring from the programme for over six years. During this hiatus, he'd continue to review and report on cars for BBC Radio 4's Going Places[8], where he was partnered with Clive Jacobs. He would return in 1988 as part of Top Gear's bid to reinvent itself during the closing years of the 1980s. Along with the likes of Beki Adam, Jeremy Clarkson, and Tiff Needell, Boswell was brought onto the show to help lead the programme into the decade which followed. Of his approximately[9] 23 credits on Top Gear, 21 were made between 1988 and 1990. He primarily focused on motorcycles but also road safety during his tenure on the programme.

Illness and death[edit | edit source]

Boswell's final appearances on any form of automotive journalism media came in the Summer of 1990, when he would present 4 radio programmes for BBC's World Service[10] centred around road safety. He would be absent from Series 24 of Top Gear due to a sudden decline in health, with his role on the show deputised by hosts such as Mark Forsyth. He was expected to continue in his role once he recovered but would unfortunately succumb to his illness on the 19th November, 1990. His cause of death was never publicly disclosed, though he would be eulogised on-screen by fellow host William Woollard in the series' ninth episode as having had his ailment for a while, rather than an unexpected loss of life caused by an external factor. He was 47 years old.

Boswell's role on the show as motorcycling correspondent would be held by Forsyth for another year following his death, before a permanent replacement in the form of Steve Berry debuted in 1993.

References[edit | edit source]

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