Kenneth Kendall was in at the beginning as British broadcasting found a mass audience, and remained an unflappable presence on television for around half a century afterwards.

Born in India, he was educated at boarding school in England before going on to Oxford and the army where he served in the Coldstream Guards, rising to the rank of captain and seeing action in the 1944 Normandy landings during the Second World War.

Kendall, who died aged 88, began his long association with the BBC in 1948 working as a radio announcer and in 1955 became the first newsreader to be seen on screen.

He left the BBC in 1961 and spent several years as a freelance before returning to the corporation in 1969 where he stayed until 1981.

In that time, he became a household name as one of the mainstays of BBC news - sharing presenting duties with Robert Dougall and Richard Baker.

Such was his fame, he even made a brief cameo appearance as a broadcaster in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Noted for his dapper style, he was named the best-dressed newsreader by Style International and voted the most popular newscaster by readers of the Daily Mirror in 1979.

He found fame with a whole new generation when he signed up to present Treasure Hunt on Channel 4 in 1982.

The show, which featured Anneka Rice scouring the country for clues in a helicopter, become a huge hit for the fledgling channel and he stayed with it for seven years.

An enthusiastic sailor, Kendall lived for many years on the Isle of Wight with his partner Mark Fear where they ran an art gallery and a charter boat business.

He returned to the BBC in 2010 to appear in a show called The Young Ones which featured six celebrities examining the problems of ageing.