Ex-BBC newsreader's partner took his own life after the star's death

The partner of a BBC newsreader took his own life less than five months after the TV star died, an inquest heard today.

Francis Fear, known by his middle name Mark was found at the home he shared with Kenneth Kendal on the Isle of Wight.

Kendal, who went on to present Treasure Hunt at Channel 4 after leaving the BBC died of a stroke in December 2012.

The couple became civil partners in 2006 and had been together for 23 years.

Friend Neil Robertson, who was a fellow member of the Royal London Yacht Club with Fear, discovered his body on 29 April, 2013 after he had been informed that he failed to attend an appointment at the gallery.

Family friend Vicki Wyatt said after the hearing: "We had lots of adventures together with Mark, we had lots of fun together."

She added: "Mark Fear and Kenneth Kendall had a 23-year relationship, and as civil partners from the earliest opportunity, their relationship was worthy of the greatest admiration and respect."

Fear was born in Warrington, Cheshire, from where he moved to Canada and then to London where he worked as an interior designer of offices before he moved to the Isle of Wight.

Kendall joined the BBC as a radio announcer, before he became the first newsreader to appear in vision.

He also featured in the Doctor Who serial The War Machines and had a cameo role as a newsreader in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

He was voted the most popular newscaster by Daily Mirror readers in 1979.

He left the BBC in 1981 and later joined Channel 4's Treasure Hunt where he directed Anneka Rice around the country in a helicopter to search for clues.

Assistant coroner for the Isle of Wight John Matthews heard the cause of death was hanging and ruled the case suicide.

 

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