A tribute to Richard Coram, a presenter par excellence
The British TV and radio personality was a household name in the UAE
The sad news of the passing away of Richard Coram, a charismatic TV and radio personality who left a big impression on me as a kid growing up in Dubai in the eighties, came as a huge shock today. Coram passed away in the UK after battling coronavirus.
One of the most vivid memories from my childhood/teen years is watching Channel 33, a local channel that gave us news, entertainment in the form of American/English TV serials and films and cartoons, as well as a Hindi film on Thursday nights, and listening to Dubai's FM 92, the country's first English-language station.
In this pre-Internet and pre-cable TV scenario, presenters, both on radio and TV, made a big impact on our lives. Coram would read the evening news on Channel 33, I remember and on Thursday would announce the name of the Hindi film about to be shown, with a huge smile.
Former expats wrote to the Khaleej Times with their memories of Coram. Seema Rajarathnam said, "I was very sad to hear this news. The TV presenters and especially the RJs of that time really made an impact on us and introduced us to new worlds through their banter and music. RIP Richard. We lost a part of our nostalgia today."
Sunny Uberai wrote, "I was reminded of my days in Dubai (1982 to 2000), and the unknowing role Richard played in the lives of the English speaking diaspora in the city."
Coram, who came to Dubai in 1980, joined Dubai 92 soon after and went on to have a successful career as a presenter in both radio and television. He also had his own company, The Talent Brokers, who brought famous faces like Lionel Richie, Elton John and Rod Stewart to Dubai.
His memory will always be associated with a simpler and slower time of life in Dubai, which we long-term expats constantly look back on with great nostalgia.