By Steve Rosenberg
Kirillov was Soviet TV’s chief newsreader and announcer.
With his trademark delivery – unhurried and calm – he informed viewers of the first sputnik in space, and delivered the communiqués of the Communist Party.
He also anchored all major Soviet set-piece events: from Moscow’s Red Square parades to communist congresses. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
When Soviet leaders died – as they seemed to so often – it was Igor Kirillov who provided commentary for their burials in the Kremlin Wall.
But by the late 1980s, TV news was changing around the world: newsreaders were no longer professional announcers – they were journalists.
It was the same in the Soviet Union, and Igor Kirillov’s face began to disappear from TV screens.
I remember him telling me in 1990 that what was happening in broadcasting was a calamity. The new anchors, he said, were in too much of a rush, adding “Russians don’t like people talking quickly.”