14:15 15 December 2012
Kenneth Kendall, the first newsreader to appear in vision in 1955, has died after suffering from stroke a few weeks ago, his agent has confirmed. Kendall was the face of BBC Nine O’Clock News in 1975.
The 88-year-old former newsreader, who started as a broadcaster and ended up joining a reality show, was voted most popular newscaster by Daily Mirror in 1979 and was given best-dressed newsreader award by Style International because of his elegant sense of style.
Anneka Rice, who worked with Kendall on Channel’s 4 Treasure Hunt, said that Kendall was a “truly great broadcaster.”
She added: "It was extraordinary when Kenneth joined Treasure Hunt because he was this very respected urbane newsreader, very serious, and I think it was genius casting. It allowed him to show a completely different side to his personality.
After his stint on Treasure Hunt, Kendall went back to BBC and appeared in The Young Ones in 2010. The show featured six celebrities examining the problems of ageing. He then retired and ran an art gallery with his long time partner, Mark Fear on the isle of Wright.
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.”
He also said that Kendall will be “hugely missed by colleagues across the BBC.”
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