'Great sadness' at TV presenter's publisher, Transworld
Transworld has recorded its "great sadness" at the news of the death of TV personality and author Johnny Kingdom. He was 79.
Johnny Kingdom became a much-loved television personality and author when the BBC screened a 10-part series about his life as a countryman on Exmoor in 2006. Transworld published the accompanying book, A Wild Life on Exmoor, and this was followed by two further books, Bambi and Me and West Country Tales, and further TV specials. Most recently, he has run wildlife safaris on the moor and made videos of its flora and fauna.
Johnny Kingdom's literary agent, Jane Turnbull, says: "Johnny Kingdom could have been the model for "Rooster Byron' in 'Jerusalem'. A man of tremendous energy, charisma, kindness and passion for his native moor, he embodied a way of life that will soon be gone for ever."
His television agent Hilary Knight says: "Today we have lost one of the last true characters of rural Britain. Johnny Kingdom embodied all the attributes that are associated with true countrymen. Born and bred an Exmoor man through and through, he loved his Devon patch and all the flora and fauna within. He lit up our TV screens with his enthusiasm and passion. He became a very proficient photographer and cameraman, and his work became very sought after. The various Devon shows and in particular South Molton market will be a sadder place without his cheery presence. He will be sadly missed."
Photo of Johnny Kingdom by Hilary Knight