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Adams, Douglas Noël (1952–2001), writer, was born on 11 March 1952 at the maternity hospital in Cambridge, the son of Christopher Douglas Adams (d. 1985) and his wife, Janet Dora Sydney, née Donovan.

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Adams, (Wilfred) Robert (c. 1900–1965), actor, was born in Georgetown, British Guiana, the son of Robert Adams, boat builder. He was educated at St Stephen's Scots School, later St Joseph's Intermediate. In 1920 he won a government scholarship to be trained as a teacher at ...

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Anderson, Gerald Alexander [Gerry] (1929–2012), television producer, writer, and director, was born Gerald Alexander Abrahams on 14 April 1929 at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, London, the second son of Joseph Abrahams, commercial clerk, the son of east European Jewish immigrants, and his wife, ...

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Andrews, Eamonn (1922–1987), radio and television broadcaster, was born on 19 December 1922 at 11 Synge Street, Dublin, Ireland, the second of five children and elder son of William Andrews, carpenter, and his wife, Margaret Farrell. He was educated at a Dublin convent and the ...

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Baird, John Logie (1888–1946), television engineer, was born on 13 August 1888 at The Lodge, West Argyle Street, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, the youngest of the four children of the Revd John Baird, minister of the West Parish Church, Helensburgh, and his wife, Jessie Morrison Inglis...

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Barker, Ronald William George [Ronnie] (1929–2005), actor and comedian, was born on 25 September 1929 at 70 Garfield Street, Bedford, the only son and second of the three children of Leonard William Barker, a clerk for Shell, and his wife, Edith Eleanor, née...

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Barnes, Sir George Reginald (1904–1960), radio and television director and college head, was born in Byfleet, Surrey, on 13 September 1904, the son of Sir Hugh Shakespear Barnes (1853–1940), lieutenant-governor of Burma, and his second wife, Edith Helen, sister of Sir Kenneth Barnes...

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Barron, Brian Munro (1940–2009), journalist and broadcaster, was born on 28 April 1940 at Bristol Maternity Hospital, 50 Southwell Street, Clifton, Bristol, the son of Albert Barron, a clerk with an aircraft company, and his wife, Norah Bernadette, née Morgan. At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Baxter, Raymond Frederic (1922–2006), broadcaster and writer, was born on 25 January 1922 at 132 Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Essex, the son of Frederic Garfield Baxter (1881–1968), science teacher, and his wife, Rosina Ellen, née Retzbach (1884–1934), also a teacher. At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Beaton, Norman Lugard (1934–1994), actor, was born on 31 October 1934 in Georgetown, British Guiana, the son of William Solomon Beaton (d. 1983), civil servant, and his wife, Ada, née Mackintosh (d. 1962). He was educated at St Stephen's School and ...

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Bentine [formerly Bentin], Michael (1922–1996), comedian, was born on 26 January 1922, in Watford, Hertfordshire, the second of two sons of Adan (later Adam) Bentin, aeronautical engineer, and his wife, Florence (d. 1949), daughter of James Dawkins, a Southend Water Board...

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Kingsley Amis

revised by M. Clare Loughlin-Chow

Betjeman, Sir John (1906–1984), poet, writer, and broadcaster, was born on 28 August 1906 at 52 Parliament Hill Mansions, north London, the only child of Ernest Edward Betjemann (1872–1934), a furniture manufacturer, and his wife, Mabel Bessie Dawson (1879–1952). The family name, of Dutch or German origin, can be traced back to an immigration in the late eighteenth century. The poet adopted his style of it about the age of twenty-one....

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Bolt, Robert Oxton [Bob] (1924–1995), scriptwriter and playwright, was born on 15 August 1924 at Sale, Manchester, Lancashire, the second of the two children of Ralph Bolt and Leah Binyon. Ralph ran a glassware and furniture shop, and Leah, a socialist feminist, was a teacher. Theirs was a northern Methodist household, guided by a firm moral code but enlivened by the vigorous argument of nonconformist politics....

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Brambell, (Henry) Wilfrid (1912–1985), actor, was born on 22 March 1912 at 6 Edenvale Road, Rathgar, co. Dublin, one of at least two sons of Henry Lytton Brambell, a cashier at the Guinness brewery, and his wife, Edith Marks (b. c.1879)...

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Briers, Richard David (1934–2013), actor, was born on 14 January 1934 at the Nelson Hospital in Merton, south London, the elder child (his sister, Jane, was born in 1939) of Joseph Benjamin Briers (1901–1980), a 'commission agent' or bookmaker, and Morna Phyllis Richardson (1909–1992)...

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Bromley, John Edward (1934–2002), journalist and broadcasting executive, was born on 12 January 1934 at 31 Oakwood Gardens, Seven Kings, Ilford, Essex, the son of Edward Dennis Bromley, company secretary, later rice broker, and his wife, Gwendoline Mabel Squire, née Williams. He suffered from osteomyelitis as a child, requiring a lengthy stay in hospital; he was one of the first civilians to be treated with penicillin. Unable to play much sport, he nevertheless followed it avidly. Educated at ...

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Brownrigg, Thomas Marcus (1902–1967), naval officer and television company executive, was born on 8 July 1902 at Homeleigh, Shooters Hill, Plumstead, London, the son of Major, later Colonel, Henry John Watt Brownrigg (1859–1908) and his wife, Evelyn Mary, daughter of the Revd Hugh Huleatt...

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Bryant, Michael Dennis (1928–2002), actor, was born on 5 April 1928 at 22 Odessa Road, Harlesden, London, the son of William Frederick Bryant, civil engineer and later bookmaker, and his wife, Mary Agnes (Ann), née Jackson. He was educated at Battersea grammar school...

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Bucknell, Robert Barraby [Barry] (1912–2003), television presenter, was born at 61 King Henry's Road, Hampstead, London, on 26 January 1912, the elder son and eldest of four children of Arthur Thomas Bucknell, surveyor and valuer, and his wife, Dora Isabel, née Bromby. He was educated at ...

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Coleman, David Robert (1926–2013), sports broadcaster and commentator, was born on 26 April 1926 at 24 Carlisle Street, Alderley Edge, Cheshire, the son of David Coleman (1896–1978), civil engineer, and his wife, Violet Mary, née Sutton (1900–1974), both born in Ireland. He was raised in ...