THE popular news presenter started his media days as a tea boy at the Birmingham Mail.

Fred Dinenage - who was born in Birmingham - worked his way up and got his big break when he was working with Annie Nightingale, now a radio presenter, on the Brighton Argus.

He was doing summer relief while waiting to take up a job at the London Evening Standard when she told him that a producer was looking for someone to present a new children's show.

The former Portsmouth Grammar School pupil won a contract at Southern Television for seven weeks' work on Three Go Round in 1964.

His happiest memories at Southern were the years he spent on How which was destined to become the longest-running children's programme on ITV.

The show, which started in 1966, was designed to provide answers to questions beginning with the word "How".

Common topics covered included science, history, mathematics, and simple puzzles.

The series came to an end in 1981 when Southern Television lost its ITV franchise, but was revived as How2 in 1990 by TVS and the final series was broadcast in 2006.

By 1984 he was presenting the nightly news programme Coast to Coast with Fern Britton.

Dinenage - dad to twins Caroline and Christopher - went on to host numerous programmes (most of them produced by Southern Television and its successors TVS and Meridian), including Gambit, Tell The Truth and BBC quiz show Pass The Buck.

He also appeared as a relief presenter of the ITV Saturday afternoon show, World of Sport.

Dinenage, who lives in Hambledon, currently presents Meridian Tonight for ITV Meridian alongside Debbie Thrower.

Away from the small screen, he has written several factual books and ghosted an autobiography of the Kray twins.

Dinenage is an avid football fan and was on the board of directors at Portsmouth FC for a number of years before retiring at the end of last season.

He also writes his own weekly column for the Daily Echo Weekend Magazine.

Name: Fred Dinenage OCCUPATION: TV presenter/ News anchor Date of Birth: June 8, 1942 Local Link: One of the south's longest-serving broadcasters