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It was no doubt meant to put visitors at their ease, but some found it disconcerting.

When the restriction was lifted, the BBC decided to fill 40 minutes of the time with current affairs.

Baverstock and Milne came up with the blueprint for the long-running Tonight programme, a mixture of serious and light-hearted segments with a quirky twist, which pioneered a new style of relaxed and intimate presentation and made stars of such as Cliff Michelmore, Alan Whicker and Fyfe Robertson.

He was the first DG in the BBC's history to suffer such ignominy, although since then two of his successors, Greg Dyke and George Entwistle, have undergone a similar fate.

But to focus only on that painful end to Milne's career does not do justice to one of the most original and talented programme-makers to emerge during television's formative years.

Milne felt this should be reflected in the BBC, and he gained a measure of independence from London during his five years in the job, learning much about the Byzantine intricacies of the corporation's politics, which would stand him in good stead later.

He developed a laid-back management style, typified by his tendency to slip his shoes off during meetings in his office and put his feet up on the desk.

So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.