Kendall presenting The Nine O'Clock News in 1973
7 August 1924|
|Died||14 December 2012
Cowes, Isle of Wight
|Occupation||Journalist, television presenter|
|Notable credit(s)||BBC News
Kenneth Kendall (7 August 1924 – 14 December 2012) was a British broadcaster. He worked for many years as a newsreader for the BBC, where he was a contemporary of fellow newsreaders Richard Baker and Robert Dougall. He is also remembered as the host of the Channel 4 game show Treasure Hunt, which ran between 1982 and 1989, as well as the host of "The World Tonight" in the 1968 science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Early life and education
Kendall was a schoolmaster and later a captain in the Coldstream Guards during the Second World War, and was injured on D-Day. He joined the BBC in 1948 as a radio newsreader and transferred to television in 1954. Although he was not the first newsreader on BBC television, Kendall was the first to appear before a camera reading the news in 1955. As he was employed on a freelance basis by the BBC, he also worked as an actor for a repertory company based in Crewe, and briefly at the menswear retailer Austin Reed in Regent Street, where he met actor John Inman and offered him a job in the Crewe theatre company.
Kendall became known for his elegant dress sense and was voted best-dressed newsreader by Style International and No.1 newscaster by Daily Mirror readers in 1979. He left the BBC in 1961, and from 1961 to 1969 was a freelance newsreader, working occasionally for ITN and presenting Southern Television's Day By Day. He appeared as himself in the Adam Adamant episode "The Doomsday Plan", in which he is kidnapped and impersonated. He also appeared in the Doctor Who serial The War Machines.
He rejoined the BBC in 1969 and finally retired from news reading on 23 December 1981. Kendall's retirement allowed him to work on the 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.
In 2010 he took part in BBC's The Young Ones, in which six well-known people in their 70s and 80s attempt to overcome some of the problems of ageing by harking back to the 1970s.
Kendall lived in Cowes on the Isle of Wight with his partner Mark Fear, where he was the owner of a marine art gallery, and a keen beekeeper. Before owning the art gallery, he co-ran a restaurant: this was stated in an interview in Radio Times in 1996.
Kendall died on 14 December 2012, following a stroke a few weeks previously. He was survived by Mark Fear, his partner for the last 23 years of his life. The couple had entered into a civil partnership in 2006.
On 29 April 2013, Mark Fear was found hanged. He was 55 and had committed suicide.
- The Reckless Moment (1949) - Man (uncredited)
- The Brain (1962) - TV Newscaster (uncredited)
- They Came from Beyond Space (1967) - Commentator
- The Exorcism - from the Dead of Night BBC TV series. (1972) (Credited)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - BBC-12 Announcer (uncredited)
- "Kenneth Kendall, former broadcaster, dies". BBC. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- "Ancestry.com. England, Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.". Retrieved 27 June 2011.
- Dennis Barker Obituary: Kenneth Kendall, The Guardian, 14 December 2012
- Obituary of John Inman - 'The Independent' newspaper
- "Kenneth Kendall quits in anger". The Glasgow Herald. 22 December 1981. p. 1.
- "Acorn Speech Synthesiser upgrade at". Retro-kit.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
- "BBC One - The Young Ones". Bbc.co.uk. 22 December 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
- Telegraph obituary
- "Kenneth Kendall's partner committed suicide 'overcome by grief'". BBC News. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013.