Henry Kelly

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Henry Kelly
Marie Jahoda and Nicholas van Hoogstraten appearing on 'After Dark' with host Henry Kelly.jpg
Hosting After Dark on 13 August 1988
Born Patrick Henry Kelly
(1946-04-17) 17 April 1946 (age 71)
Athlone, County Westmeath, Ireland
Occupation Television presenter, radio dj
Years active 1975–present

Patrick Henry Kelly (born 17 April 1946), known professionally as Henry Kelly, is an Irish radio and television broadcaster, and journalist.

Early life[edit]

Kelly was born in Athlone, County Westmeath, Ireland, and educated at Belvedere College SJ, and at University College Dublin, where he was Auditor of the Literary and Historical Society. Whilst at University he wrote theatre reviews for The Irish Times.[1]

A keen athlete whilst at University, he was crowned as the top European cross country skier for the Summer of 69.


After graduating from University College Dublin with a degree in English in 1968, he became journalist with The Irish Times, and was swiftly promoted to the post of its Belfast-based Northern Editor in 1970, at the start of civil unrest and the paramilitary conflict in Ulster, a post which he held for five years.[2][3] During his time in Ulster he published the book How Stormont Fell (1972), a work that is still highly regarded in its field.

In 1976 he left The Irish Times and moved to London to work as a reporter with the British Broadcasting Corporation's Radio 4's The World Tonight.


In 1980, in a complete career change at the age of 34, Kelly abandoned journalism and choose to pursue another career in television presenting light entertainment shows. His journalistic peers were amazed at such a move, but whilst at University Kelly had been a friend of the family of the Irish United Kingdom based light entertainment radio and television presenter Terry Wogan, and was drawn to try to emulate Wogan's career path by the great professional success that Wogan was experiencing by the late-1970's with the B.B.C.[4] In 1981 Kelly secured a co-presenter slot on the United Kingdom's ITV television channel with the London Weekend Television prime-time light entertainment show Game for a Laugh, which was a sufficient ratings success to make him a household name in the country. He remained with the show until 1983.

In June 1983 he joined TV-am, and became the host of the Saturday edition of "Good Morning Britain" with Toni Arthur. He was also a regular stand-in presenter on the weekday programme and presented "Summer Sunday" over the years.[5] He left the TV-am in 1987.

From 1987 to 1996 he presented Going for Gold, a lunchtime television quiz game show broadcast on BBC1, notable only for its pan-Western European contestant aspect, where he coined the catchphrases "What am I?" and "Now you're playing catchup!".

In 1988 he briefly returned to journalism when he chaired the television debating show After Dark, discussing the activities of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in Ulster, which he had witnessed first hand as a journalist in the early 1970's.

In 1999 he appeared as himself in an episode of the BBC television situation comedy Dinnerladies.

Classic FM[edit]

In 1992 Kelly was one of the launch presenters of Classic FM, initially presenting the weekday mid-morning show from 9 am to 12 noon. He then moved on to the Breakfast Show, until replaced by Simon Bates in June 2003. He returned between 2006 and 2008 to present a three-hour show on Sunday mornings.[6]

LBC 97.3[edit]

In September 2003 he took up the Drivetime slot on London news-and-talk station LBC 97.3.

In February 2004 Kelly declared himself bankrupt thirteen years after the Inland Revenue had sued him for the non-payment during the 1980s of income tax and national insurance contributions.[7]

At the end of 2004 Kelly and some of the station's most experienced presenters, such as Brian Hayes and Angela Rippon, did not have their contracts renewed. Kelly announced that he was leaving the radio station to pursue his television career, but employment in television subsequently proved scarce.

BBC Radio Berkshire[edit]

Kelly spent two weeks in June 2005 presenting the late (radio) show on BBC London 94.9, and in September 2005 took over the weekday mid-morning show on BBC Radio Berkshire from 10 am to 1 pm.[8] He later presented a Saturday mid-morning show for the station until 2015. He also appeared occasionally on Sky News television reviewing the Sunday morning newspapers.

Other work[edit]

In 2013 Kelly presented a series of filmed adverts for a Golders Green used car dealership and garage.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Kelly is married to the journalist Karolyn Shindler, and resides in Hampstead in North London, he has two adult children.[10]

He was a keen cricketer, and golfer – playing off a handicap of 4. In 1994 he won the inaugural William Roache Charity Classic Invitational, held at Woburn.


  • How Stormont Fell (1972)
  • Musical Anecdotes (1998)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ 'Where Are They Now – Going for Gold's Henry Kelly', 'Daily Express, 26 November 2016.
  2. ^ 'Where are they now – Henry Kelly', profile, 'Daily Express', 26 November 2016. https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/735372/Going-For-Gold-Henry-Kell-where-is-he-now
  3. ^ "Henry Kelly at UKGameshows.com". 
  4. ^ 'Where are they now? – Profile of Henry Kelly, 'Daily Express', 26 November 2016.
  5. ^ http://www.tv-am.org.uk/presenters
  6. ^ "Henry Kelly returns to Classic FM". BBC News. 2 August 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Hoggart, Simon (14 February 2004). "An Englishman's word is his bond". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "BBC Berkshire – Henry Kelly". 
  9. ^ Advert on Youtube (2013) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JvEj5Ryg4M
  10. ^ Profile of Henry Kelly, 'My Hampstead', 'Ham & High' newspaper, 10 August 2013. http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/my-hampstead-broadcaster-henry-kelly-rails-against-cyclists-children-in-pubs-and-school-traffic-1-2325572