Katie Boyle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Katie Boyle
Katie Boyle
Boyle appearing on After Dark, July 1988
Born Caterina Irene Elena Maria Imperiali dei Principi di Francavilla
(1926-05-29)29 May 1926
Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Died 20 March 2018(2018-03-20) (aged 91)
Manchester, England
Nationality British
Other names Lady Saunders
Occupation Actress, presenter, writer
Known for What's My Line?
Eurovision Song Contest
Spouse(s)
  • Richard Bentinck Boyle
    (m. 1947; div. 1955)
  • Greville Baylis
    (m. 1955; d. 1976)
  • Peter Saunders
    (m. 1979; d. 2003)

Caterina Irene Elena Maria Boyle, Lady Saunders (née Imperiali dei Principi di Francavilla; 29 May 1926 – 20 March 2018), usually known as Katie Boyle and also credited as Catherine Boyle and Catherine Boyl, was a British actress, writer, radio announcer, television personality, game-show panellist and animal rights activist. She became best known for presenting the Eurovision Song Contest on four occasions, in 1960, 1963, 1968 and in 1974; the first three in London and the last presentation in Brighton, England. She was once an agony aunt, answering problems that had been posted to the TVTimes by readers.

Early life, modelling and film career[edit]

She was born in a royal palace in Florence, Tuscany, Italy, which had once belonged to the Italian royal family, the daughter of an Italian marquis (the Marchese Demetrio Imperiali di Francavilla), and his English wife, Dorothy Kate Ramsden. She came to the United Kingdom in 1946 and started a modelling career, which included work for such publications as Vogue. She also appeared in several 1950s films, the first being Old Mother Riley, Headmistress (1950) in which she was billed as Catherine Carleton,[1] followed by I'll Never Forget You (uncredited, 1951), The Diary of Major Thompson (filmed in France in 1955), Not Wanted on Voyage (1957), The Truth About Women (also 1957), and Intent to Kill (1958).[2]

Radio and television[edit]

Boyle was an on-screen continuity announcer for the BBC in the 1950s. A decade later she became a television personality, regularly appearing on panel games and programmes such as What's My Line? and Juke Box Jury. In 1968 she appeared alongside comedian Lance Percival in the fledgling Thames Television panel quiz game of medical knowledge Lance That Boyle. The show was cancelled after only three episodes.[3] Boyle was the presenter for the 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1974 Eurovision Song Contests, all of which were hosted in the UK. She hosted the 1974 contest wearing no underwear; it had been cut off from under her satin dress moments before the broadcast began.[4] She also hosted the UK qualifying heat, A Song for Europe, in 1961. In the 1960s she appeared in a long-running series of television advertisements for Camay soap.[5][6]

Katie Boyle was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1982, when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews. That same year she played herself in the BBC radio play The Competition, which told the story of a fictitious international song contest being staged in Bridlington. Boyle was guest of honour at the Eurovision fan club conventions staged in 1988 and 1992, and appeared at the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest held in Birmingham as a special guest of the BBC. Her other work has included theatre, television (What's Up Dog?) and radio (Katie and Friends). In 2004 Boyle was a guest on a special Eurovision-themed celebrity version of The Weakest Link on BBC One, hosted by Anne Robinson.[7] Boyle became the first, and to date the only, contestant ever to vote herself off the programme.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In 1947 she married Richard Bentinck Boyle, heir to the 8th Earl of Shannon; the marriage was dissolved in 1955 but she kept his surname, Boyle.[9] Later that year she married Greville Baylis, a racehorse owner, who died in 1976. In 1979 she married theatre impresario Sir Peter Saunders, who died in 2003. In Queen Elizabeth II: A Woman Who Is Not Amused by Nicholas Davies it is alleged that Boyle had a long-standing relationship with Prince Philip in the 1950s.[10] Boyle told Gyles Brandreth: "It's ludicrous, pure fabrication. When it appears in print, people believe it. You can't take legal action because it fans the flames, so you just have to accept people telling complete lies about you."[11] She was represented for most of her working life by Bunny Lewis and was a committee member of Battersea Dogs Home for more than 25 years. She died at home on Tuesday 20 March 2018.[12]

Selected filmography[edit]

Appearing - together with her dogs and others - on After Dark

Bibliography[edit]

She also wrote three books:

  • Dear Katie – tips from her days as agony aunt for TV Times, 1975, ISBN 978-0552990783
  • What This Katie Did – autobiography, 1980, ISBN 978-0297778141
  • Battersea Tales – stories of rescues from the Battersea Dogs Home, 1997[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Former Eurovision host Katie Boyle, Lady Saunders dies aged 91". Irish News. 20 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  2. ^ Boyle, Katie, What This Katie Did: An Autobiography.Littlehampton Book Services Ltd, 1st edition (9 October 1980); ISBN 978-0-297-77814-1.
  3. ^ Welsh, Daniel (20 March 2018). "Katie Boyle Dead: Eurovision Song Contest Host Lady Saunders Dies, Aged 91". Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  4. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007; ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
  5. ^ "Camay 'Letter To Katie Boyle' TV ad – 45 sec advert". www.tellyads.com. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  6. ^ findaclip (4 August 2013). "017 Camay Katie Boyle European Soap Contest 1". Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ Osborn, Michael (13 May 2009). "The A to Z of Eurovision". BBC News.
  8. ^ Welsh, Daniel (20 March 2018). "Katie Boyle Dead: Eurovision Song Contest Host Lady Saunders Dies, Aged 91". HuffPost. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Obituary: Katie Boyle". BBC News. 20 March 2018.
  10. ^ Davies, Nicholas. Queen Elizabeth II: A Woman Who Is Not Amused. Birch Lane Press; ISBN 1-55972-217-7
  11. ^ Brandreth, Gyles (5 September 2004). "Portrait of a marriage". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Press statement: Katie Boyle, Lady Saunders, dies peacefully at home". The Corner Shop. 20 March 2018.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
France Jacqueline Joubert
Eurovision Song Contest presenter
1960
Succeeded by
France Jacqueline Joubert
Preceded by
Luxembourg Mireille Delannoy
Eurovision Song Contest presenter
1963
Succeeded by
Denmark Lotte Wæver
Preceded by
Austria Erica Vaal
Eurovision Song Contest presenter
1968
Succeeded by
Spain Laurita Valenzuela
Preceded by
Luxembourg Helga Guitton
Eurovision Song Contest presenter
1974
Succeeded by
Sweden Karin Falck