Walter John Kingdon
23 February 1939
|Died||6 September 2018 (aged 79)|
Walter John Kingdon (23 February 1939 – 6 September 2018), known as Johnny Kingdom, was an English wildlife filmmaker and photographer specialising in his local area of Exmoor in north Devon and west Somerset.
Following a head injury sustained while driving a tractor in his job as a lumberjack, Kingdom spent some time convalescing and developed depression. To aid in his recovery, a friend lent him a video camera and suggested he film wildlife on Exmoor. This led to a career spanning 20 years, with series and documentaries being shown on a number of British television channels.
His 2006 series Johnny Kingdom: A Year on Exmoor was shown on BBC Two. The series coincided with the publication of his autobiography, Johnny Kingdom - A Wild Life on Exmoor. A follow-up series, Johnny's New Kingdom, documenting his project to create a wildlife haven on a 55-acre (22-hectare) plot of land which he had purchased on Exmoor, was shown on BBC Two in 2008. Kingdom has also made several one-off programmes, including visits to Lapland and to the Scottish Highlands. In 2015 he presented a four-part series for ITV called Johnny Kingdom's Wild Exmoor.
Kingdom died in September 2018 from injuries sustained in a digger accident on his land near Knowstone in North Devon. He was buried at St Mary's Parish Church, Bishop's Nympton, in a grave that he had dug.
- "Walter John KINGDON – Inquest, No Jury". Her Majesty's Coroner for the Exeter and Greater Devon District. 25 June 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
- Sale, Jonathan (23 November 2006). "My First Job: Johnny Kingdom, the wildlife film-maker, was a lumberjack". The Independent. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
- Billen, Andrew (5 March 2008). "Horizon; Johnny's New Kingdom; Monster Moves". The Times. Retrieved 17 July 2011.(subscription required)[dead link]
- Howells, Sarah (14 September 2018). "Tributes pour in for 'legend' and 'magical friend' Johnny Kingdom". North Devon Gazette. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
- Cooper, Joel (7 September 2018). "A life in wildlife: Johnny Kingdom through the years". DevonLive. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
- Smart, Matt (7 September 2018). "'A legend lost': North Devon TV personality Johnny Kingdom has died, aged 79". North Devon Gazette. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
- "Wildlife presenter Johnny Kingdom killed by digger". BBC News. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
- "Obituary: Johnny Kingdom". The Economist. 20 September 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2020.(subscription required)