Celebrating Redvers 

4 December 2015 tbs.pm/8184

rbk-service

Redvers Kyle, courtesy of Maggie Mash

Today was actually a happy day. While everyone was sad to be saying goodbye to Redvers Kyle and heartbroken that they’d never see him again, it was still a happy day. Because days with Red, days talking about Red, days thinking about times with Red, couldn’t be anything but happy.

We entered the secular service to the strains of part of the South African national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika,[1] played by the Soweto String Quartet. Red, the man with the quintessential English voice, was South African from Irish and Cornish stock and was proud of his heritage.

Tribute was paid by Bob Bairstow of YTV, remembering working with Red in the 1970s. After more music – the theme to Brideshead Revisited, a favourite – singer Yvonne Roberts, the widow of Yorkshire continuity announcer Graham Roberts, read Love Lives Beyond the Grave by John Clare.[2] Red had read this at Graham’s funeral and ‘Vonny’, as Red called her, returned the favour, her voice full of emotion but perfectly clear.

You are invited to consider making a donation to the NSPCC in the name of Redvers Kyle. You can do so online or by sending a cheque, made payable to ‘NSPCC’, to GH Dovener and Son, 267 Otley Road, LEEDS LS16 5LN

We then listened to some Shubert – Quintet in C Adagio[3] – another favourite, before the organiser of the service, former YTV announcer Maggie Mash, paid personal tribute to Red. She remembered some so many fun times, so many stories, so much laughter, things that always went with a day with Redvers Kyle. She also read tributes from Redvers’ half-brother (he had a second half-brother who predeceased him) and his nephews, on whom Redvers doted.

Maggie’s husband Bob Holt then read A Subaltern’s Love Song by Sir John Betjeman[4] with verve and flair, as it should be, while also recording some of the memorable times he had spent with Red.

Finally Maggie read Joyce Grenfell’s Death (If I Should Go),[5] a reminder that Red would not have wanted mourning and would’ve enjoyed this, his last party. Blow Gabriel Blow from Anything Goes by Cole Porter[6] played us out and we said goodbye to one of the ultimate voices of Independent Television and one of the nicest people you could ever have hoped to meet.

Sleep well, Redvers.


  1. Listen to a version here.
  2. Read the poem here.
  3. Listen to a version here.
  4. Read and hear the poem here.
  5. Read the poem here.
  6. Listen to a version here.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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1 response to this article

Pete Singleton BEM 5 December 2015 at 12:32 am

Russ, thank you for this report on the final goodbyes to Redvers Kyle. What a great celebration of his life. His truly was one of the richest voices ever heard on Independent Television if not on UK television in general.

Redvers, you will always be remembered. Sleep peacefully.

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