Although neither man will be well-recognised as having appeared in Doctor Who (outside the show’s fans) we were sad to learn this week of the deaths of veteran broadcaster Sir Patrick Moore and former newsreader Kenneth Kendall.
Both men made notable guest appearances in Doctor Who 44 years apart, as well as both being recognisable elements of British TV watching culture since the 1950s.
Well known both as a newsreader (he helmed the BBC’s 9 o’clock news for six years from 1975) and as the presenter of Channel 4’s Treasure Hunt, Kendall was the first newsreader to be seen on camera on BBC TV back in 1955 and was voted the most popular newscaster by readers of the Daily Mirror in 1979.
It was confirmed today that Kendall died peacefully a few weeks ago after suffering a stroke. He was 88.
Kendall appeared as himself in 1966’s Doctor Who adventure The War Machines, filling that vital role of the “newsreader reporting panic” that later become recognizable in the Russell T Davies era.
Sir Patrick Moore
The legendary astronomy enthusiast – who hosted every edition of The Sky At Night on BBC TV from its first broadcast on April 24th 1957 to its most recent December 2012 edition – “passed away peacefully at 12:25” on Sunday, December 9th at the age of 89. Interestingly his passion for astronomy was fed by an appetite for books, a by-product of missing school due to heart problems as a child.
Fans of modern Doctor Who will recall that Sir Patrick appeared in Matt Smith’s first episode, The Eleventh Hour, as one of the experts the newly regenerated Time Lord summons to help him defeat the Atraxi; Moore also appears to take a shine to Mrs Angelo (Annette Crosbie).
Both will of course be sadly missed in the respective fields; indeed, I would say that Moore was as important to astronomy as Galileo, Copernicus, Hubble and NASA.