Author, journalist and TV-am presenter Robert Kee dies aged 93

An original member of the ITV breakfast show's "famous five", Kee was also a Second World War veteran and friend of George Orwell


Robert Kee – journalist, author and one of the original presenters of TV-am – has died, aged 93.


Kee began his career in journalism following the Second World War, with spells at the Sunday Times, the Observer and the Spectator. 

He moved to television in 1958, working for both ITV and BBC as a reporter, and contributing to programmes including Panorama and ITN’s First Report. 

In 1983, Kee launched ITV breakfast show TV-am alongside Sir David Frost, Anna Ford, Michael Parkinson and Angela Rippon – a quintet dubbed “the famous five” by newspapers at the time. 

Kee was a vocal campaigner for the release of the Guilford Four and the Maguire Seven, who were convicted in 1974 for a pub bombing carried out by the IRA. He wrote a book, Trial and Error, about the case in 1986. 

A prolific author, Kee also penned novels based on his experiences as a POW during the Second World War, and translated a number of German volumes about the war.

A friend of fellow author George Orwell, Kee was a witness at his wedding to Sonia Brownell.

In 1998, Kee was made a CBE.


He is survived by his wife and three children.