Who is Michael Fish and what did he say in 1987 hurricane weather forecast?


MICHAEL Fish’s famous broadcast took place a staggering 35 years ago, solidifying the presenter as an icon ever since.

He was covering Great Storm of 1987 on October 15 of that year with the clip quickly gaining notoriety for Fish’s understated coverage.

Michael Fish before his infamous 1987 weather forecast

Who is Michael Fish?

Michael Fish was born in Eastbourne, Sussex, in 1938 and studied at City University in London.

He joined the Met Office in 1962 and started doing broadcasting for BBC Radio nine years later even though he wasn’t actually working for the corporation.

He began weather forecasting for the broadcaster in 1974 and for 30 years he was a familiar face on BBC Weather news, gracing viewers with his chequered two-piece suits in varying shades of beige.

The married dad-of-two who is also an author and keen actor, was awarded an MBE in 2014, for services to broadcasting.

During his final forecast before he retired in 2004, his colleague Ian McCaskill called him the “the last of the true weathermen you will ever see”.

What did Michael Fish say in 1987 hurricane weather forecast?

In an infamous weather broadcast in October 1987 Michael Fish wrongly denied claims a hurricane was going to hit Britain.

Hours after he said there was no hurricane coming “but it will be very windy in Spain” there was devastation across the UK that claimed 18 lives and cost an estimated £2 billion worth in damaged.

It was even touted as the worst storm in the UK for 300 years, which makes revisiting Fish’s broadcast all the more perplexing.

During the segment, he said: “Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way… well, if you’re watching, don’t worry, there isn’t!”

Fish said in a BBC interview, the woman caller who phoned in to the BBC regarding the storm did not exist, he merely thought it would be a good opening line for the broadcast.

Around the storm’s 30th anniversary, Mr Fish said he would love to have a storm named after him.

He added: “It’s a myth that we didn’t know it was coming, that there was no mention of high winds, that I was the only one that got it wrong the woman that rang the BBC – there wasn’t a wasn’t a woman at all actually – and that it was a hurricane.”

The former presenter said life was “pretty horrendous” after his “unfortunate remark” led him to being blamed for the missing cyclone, but he was proud that it was used during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

Where is Michael Fish now?

The retired broadcaster is still involved in forecasting, contributing to the online service Netweather.TV.

The 77-year-old also lectures around the country, expressing his knowledge on climate change.

Mr Fish is set to appear in a BBC documentary to mark the 30th anniversary of the storm.