Kenneth Kendall - BBC Newsbroadcaster Dec 15, 2012 8:03:16 GMT 1
Post by Laurence on Dec 15, 2012 8:03:16 GMT 1
Former BBC newsreader Kenneth Kendall has died at the age of 88. The one-time presenter of the popular UK game show Treasure Hunt suffered a stroke a few weeks ago and died peacefully, his agent confirmed.
Born in India on 7 August 1924 Kendall was a schoolmaster and later a captain in the Coldstream Guards during World War II, and was injured on D-Day. He joined the BBC as a radio announcer in 1948, moving to TV in 1954 where he became the first British newsreader (in 1955) to read the news in front of a camera. Such was his popularity that he also featured in the Doctor Who serial The War Machines, in the Adam Adamant Lives! episode The Doomsday Plan and had a cameo role as a newsreader in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kendall also worked occasionally for ITN in the 1960s. Kendall became the face of the BBC Nine O'Clock News by 1975 where he was a contemporary of fellow newsreaders Richard Baker and Robert Dougall. He was voted the most popular newscaster by Daily Mirror readers in 1979. Recognised for his elegant sense of style, he received an award for best-dressed newsreader by Style International.
He rejoined the BBC in 1969 and finally retired from news reading in 1981, allowing him to work on the very popular Channel Four programme Treasure Hunt throughout its first run (1982–1989), which featured Anneka Rice as a skyrunner. He also presented the television programme Songs of Praise.
Anneka Rice said: "Kenneth Kendall was an extraordinary person" and a "truly great broadcaster. He's going to be remembered for (playing) an important part of television history." She added, "starting in radio and television, the first in vision newsreader and finishing up on a reality TV show, probably the first of its kind. Again another iconic television moment." Soon after retirement from news reading, Kendall lent his voice to the BBC Micro as part of Acorn Computers' hardware speech synthesis solution.
Kendall returned to the BBC in 2010 to appear in a show called The Young Ones which featured six celebrities examining the problems of ageing. He retired to Cowes on the Isle of Wight where he ran an art gallery with his longtime partner Mark Fear. Acting BBC director-general Tim Davie said: "As the first British newsreader ever to appear on our TV screens in 1955, the passing of Kenneth Kendall is a sad moment in broadcasting history. Kenneth will be remembered for his long and successful career in both radio and later TV and, of course, for his much remarked- upon elegant sense of style.
Kenneth Kendall passed away on 14 December 2012