Nick Hitchon Obituary, Death –Nick Hitchon, who was my brother and a specialist in nuclear fusion, gradually came to terms with the fact that he would never be regarded as a scientist but rather as the person who appeared in a pioneering television program.
Nick was a determined and committed guy whose profession led him thousands of miles away from his background in a farming family in the Yorkshire Dales. Nick passed away at the age of 65 after a protracted illness. His goal was to make electricity generation reasonably affordable and environmentally friendly everywhere in the world, but that dream has yet to come true.
Additionally, he was a participant in the Up series of TV films, which was nominated for several awards. In 1964, a researcher was having trouble finding a child from a rural area who was willing to chat to the camera for an episode of Granada TV’s World in Action show called Seven Up! Seven-year-olds from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds shared their perspectives on a variety of topics during this segment.
The researcher was given directions to the one-room Arncliffe CE primary school in Littondale, North Yorkshire, and informed that Nick would most certainly communicate, despite the fact that he was only six years old. Nick was filmed saying that he wanted to study about the Moon, but he refused to express what he thought about girls. He felt that was close enough, and he was filmed explaining that he wanted to learn about the Moon.
It was supposed to be a one-off program, but the cameras came back for a follow-up, which was called 7 Plus Seven, and then they returned once every seven years after that. Nick Hitchon was the eldest of three sons to be born to Iona (née Hall) and Guy Hitchon, who farmed in the Littondale hamlet of Hawkswick. Nick was born in Skipton. His parents were farmers. Nick was actually 13 years old when the following episode of Up was produced. At the time, he was attending Ermysted’s grammar school in Skipton, where he was seeing his interest in science blossom. There, he was also the captain of the rugby first XV and played for a Yorkshire Schools team.
After that, he continued his education at Merton College, Oxford, where he earned his doctoral degree in physics at the age of 23. In 1982, he relocated to the United States with his first wife, Jacqui Bush, to continue his research on nuclear fusion at the University of Wisconsin. This relocation marked the beginning of a significant turning point in his life. After some time, Nick and Jacqui got a divorce.
He worked in the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering at the university for the next four decades, rising through the ranks to become a full professor in 1994 and serving as department chair from 1999 to 2002. More than one hundred papers and three books related to his area of expertise were written by him. Nick was a contributor to each and every film in the Up series. He felt badly represented in some of the early programs, and he always found the interviews to be unpleasant, but he devoted the same level of commitment to making the films that he did to other aspects of his life.
Nick was given a cancer diagnosis five years ago, but he was adamant on living his life to the fullest possible extent, and he did not plan to retire from the university until the spring of 2022. In addition to his son Adam from his first marriage, he is survived by his second wife, Cryss Brunner, whom he married in 2001, as well as by his brothers Chris and me. He passed away in 2001.