Austin Mitchell

Biography of Austin Mitchell

Austin Vernon Mitchell (born 19 September 1934) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Great Grimsby since a 1977 by-election.

Born in Bradford, Mitchell was educated at Woodbottom Council School, Bingley Grammar School, the University of Manchester and Nuffield College, Oxford.

From 1959–63 he lectured in History at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. While lecturing in sociology, from 1963–67, at the University of Canterbury, Mitchell wrote a popular book about New Zealand, The Half Gallon Quarter Acre Pavlova Paradise (1972). The book title became a phrase in the New Zealand English lexicon. In the 1960s and 70s, New Zealand had been a socialist laboratory. In the 80s and 90s, it was transformed into an open market economy. These drastic changes provided ample subject matter for social analysis, and thirty years later Mitchell wrote Pavlova Paradise Revisited (2002), after another New Zealand expedition. From 1967–69, Mitchell was an Official Fellow at Nuffield College.

He was a journalist at ITV company Yorkshire Television from 1969 to 1977, presenting their regional news show Calendar, although he spent a short period at the BBC in 1972. During his period at Yorkshire Television, he chaired, in a live studio program, the famous debate between Brian Clough and Don Revie on the day Clough had been sacked by Leeds United in 1974.

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