Melville de Mellow (also de Mello) (1913 - 1989) was an Indian radio broadcaster with the All India Radio. He is remembered for his high-quality reports and commentary on various events in independent India, the most notable of which was a seven-hour broadcast of Mahatma Gandhi's funeral in Delhi.[1] He was conferred the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1963 in recognition of his services to broadcasting.[2]

Family and education

De Mellow was educated at the St George's College, Mussorie and served as a Lieutenant in the 5/2 Punjab Regiment before joining the All India Radio.[3] Melville de Mellow was one of the pioneers, the first batch of cadets to graduate from the Indian Military Academy.[4] He was married to Coralie Emma De Mellow[5] and his nephew Ian Tudor de Mellow is a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to aged welfare.[6]

Broadcasting career

Melville de Mellow worked with the All India Radio from April 1950 to April 1971 and belonged to the ‘staff artistes’ category. Following his superannuation he was retained as Producer (Emeritus) for another five years with AIR.[7] Demellow is remembered as an iconic broadcaster noted for his deep baritoned commentary of various events in independent India.[1][8] In 1948 he accompanied the cortege bearing Mahatma Gandhi's body from Birla House to the cremation venue at Raj Ghat giving a seven-hour-long commentary of the event from an All India Radio van. Melville de Mellow's moving commentary that day, articulating the nation's grief and homage as the cortege moved towards Raj Ghat, is remembered as one of the best instances of radio broadcasting in India.[9] His commentary that day inspired veteran Hindi commentator Jasdev Singh, then a seventeen-year-old, to take up commentary as a profession. Singh has since been conferred with a Padma Shri and a Padma Bhushan for his services to radio broadcasting.[10][11] In 1952 Melville de Mellow was handpicked by the British Government for broadcasting a running commentary on Queen Elizabeth’s coronation procession.[8] He was also the commentator at India's Republic Day parade for several years and his commentary of India-Pakistan hockey matches are remembered to this day.[12] His reportage on the Bangladesh War and its subsequent liberation by Indian forces were keenly awaited by listeners of the radio.[13]


Melville de Mellow is the author of several books on sports including The Story of the Olympics, which describes the run up to the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo,[14] Remembered Glory, The Olympics and their Heroes, Reaching for Excellence, The Glory and Decay of Indian Sports and Indigenous Games & Martial Arts of India.[2]

Awards and honours

Melville de Mellow was feted for his work throughout his career. These include the Commonwealth Scholarship (BBC), 1948, Czechoslovak Radio Documentary Prize, 1960, Padma Shri (1963), Prize Italia for Radio Documentary (1964) - which he won for 'Lali and the Lions of Gir', a featured program on All India Radio,[15] Chaman Lal Award (1971), Czechoslovak Peace Essay Prize (1972), Excellence Award (ICFEE), 1975, Commentary Award (1975), Education Ministry's Award for Best Book on Sports (1976), Long Service Award (1977), FTE Award for Excellence in Radio & TV and the Asiad Jyoti Award (1984).[2]


  1. ^ a b "Monthly grant of widow of Melville De Mellow restored". 23 September 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "St. George's College Alumni". St. George's College, Mussorie. Archived from the original on 17 February 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Melville De Mello (The Late Great Broadcaster)". INDIA-L Archives. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  4. ^ Kanwar, Raj (2020). "IMA: A foremost Military Academy in the world". Dateline Dehradun. Writers' Combine. Dehradun: Saraswati Press. p. 55. ISBN 9789353968793.
  5. ^ "'Help Melville De Mellow's wife'". The Hindu. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  6. ^ "A life of courage and service". Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Prasar Bharati sets up committees to monitor new technologies". 8 August 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  8. ^ a b "The lost romance of the radio of yore". The Third Report. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Mahatma Gandhi And Mass Media". Gandhi Research Foundation. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Why the awards matter". The Hindu. 2 March 2008. Archived from the original on 2 March 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  11. ^ "A voice that continues to charm…". The Hindu. 5 May 2008. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Mellow's wife to get increased monthly grant". The Hindu. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Tuning into nostalgia". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  14. ^ "1964 - India's first tyrst with the Olympic flame". Rediff Sports. 7 June 2004. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  15. ^ Aggarwal, Vir Bala (2001). Handbook Of Journalism And Mass Communication. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. p. 190. ISBN 9788170228806.