House of Cards producer Ken Riddington dies

Ken Riddington Ken Riddington produced many high profile dramas

Ken Riddington, who produced BBC One's acclaimed House of Cards trilogy, has died in a nursing home.

In his early nineties, he had been suffering from dementia for a number of years.

His BBC career spanned more than three decades, during which time he produced high profile dramas including Tenko, A Very Peculiar Practice, To Serve Them All My Days, House of Eliott, A Year in Provence and Mother Love.

His best known work, though, is 1990's House of Cards - the political thriller adapted by Andrew Davies from Michael Dobbs' novel and starring Ian Richardson.

Bafta and Emmy winning, the series was named in the British Film Institute's 100 Greatest British TV Programmes. It spawned two sequels in To Play The King and The Final Cut, which Riddington also produced.

'Dreadful actor'

Starting out as a stage actor, he soon switched to a backstage role in the theatre, admitting he was 'a truly dreadful actor'.

He became a company manager at The Palladium and Palace Theatre in London's West End, before joining the BBC as a floor manager in the seventies.

He got his break as a producer on BBC One's ten-part adaptation of Anna Karenina in 1977. He'd originally been asked to go to Russia to help scout for locations for the costume drama - a job he turned down as he hated the cold. The lure of a producer role changed his mind.

He became acting head of BBC series and serials in the late eighties, but chose to follow a programme-making rather than managerial path.

Riddington retired from BBC work at the age of 75, enjoying 12 years of retirement before his illness took hold.

He leaves a wife, Elizabeth, and son Tim.

His funeral will take place at 11.45am on Monday January 12 at West Norwood Crematorium in South East London.

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