Entertainment & Arts

Author Robert Kee dies aged 93

Image caption Kee hosted a quiz show in the 1960s called The Brains Trust

Renowned author and broadcaster Robert Kee has died at the age of 93.

Best known for his seminal series on the history of Ireland, he went into journalism after serving in the RAF during World War II.

He worked as a correspondent for the Sunday Times and the Observer, before moving into television in 1958.

At the BBC he became a regular correspondent and presenter on Panorama, and in 1983 he joined David Frost for the launch of TV-am.

However the station was criticised for being too erudite for breakfast-time viewers, and struggled to find its foothold with the audience. The company eventually lost the franchise in 1992.

Kee became an established figure in current affairs journalism, reporting for ITV's First Report and Channel 4's Seven Days. His success saw him awarded Bafta's Richard Dimbleby Award in 1976.

However, it was Kee's lifelong interest in Ireland that made him his name, and his extraordinary knowledge was reflected in his book The Green Flag, published in 1972, in three volumes.

It was adapted for television under the title Ireland - A Television History almost a decade later, and fronted by Kee. The acclaimed 13-part series was broadcast in both the UK and the US.

He joined the campaign for the release of the imprisoned Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven, who had been convicted of taking part in the Guildford pub bombings in 1974, and wrote a pivotal book Trial & Error about the case in 1986.

He continued to write novels, often based on his own wartime experiences throughout his life - perhaps most poignantly in his first book A Crowd is not Company, which took its lead from his experience as a German prisoner of war during World War II.

1939: The Year We Left Behind and 1945: The World We Fought For came out over consecutive years in 1984 and 1985, while Munich: The Eleventh Hour was based on a commemorative documentary made 50 years after the events of the Munich agreement of 1938.

He was also a prolific translator of the works of German literature.

He leaves a wife and three children.

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