Katie Boyle, best known for her work on the Eurovision Song Contest for the BBC and writer for the TV Times, has died aged 91.
Katie reached a large television audience weekly with her TV Times column. (Pictured: Examples from 1985 and 1987.)
Katie was was born Caterina Irene Elena Maria Imperiali de Principi di Francavilla on May 29th in 1926. She was born in a Florentine palace in Italy which was once part of the Italian royal family’s homes. After her parents spilt, she relocated to the UK with her British-born mother.
Her career took-in being a magazine agony aunt with ITV’s TV Times listings publication, fashion model, game show regular – including on What’s My Line, Juke Box Jury and The Weakest Link – as a hostess of the Eurovision Song Contest and the presenter of Quite Contrary.
“Her multilingual outings on these occasions reflected her glamorous but turbulent upbringing.” – BBC
Katie on the 1961 Eurovision – A Song For Europe. Boyle hosted four UK-based editions of the Eurovision event.
Katie providing some glamour to Thames Television’s Kenny Everett Video Show in the late 1970s.
Other work saw her turn to acting, appearing in several big screen movies as well as the face of a soap product in print and TV commercials and, back in the days of personality television, Boyle became one of the Beeb’s on-screen continuity announcers. She also presented a number of radio programmes for the corporation, notably on BBC Radio 2.
“Later in life she brought her great love for dogs to both television and radio, where she often gave other celebrities advice on looking after their pets. She also became a tireless supporter of many animal charities.” – BBC
In 1947 she married Richard Bentinck Boyle, 9th Earl of Shannon; the marriage was dissolved in 1955 but she kept his surname before later in the same year marrying Greville Baylis, a racehorse owner. He passed away in 1976. Her third husband would arrive in 1979 when she married theatre impresario Sir Peter Saunders. This union lasted until his death in 2003. who died in 2003. From this marriage she became also known as Lady Saunders.
She was a committee member of Battersea Dogs Home for more than 25 years. She died peacefully at home on Tuesday 20th March
Katie Boyle, working for the BBC Italian Service in 1954. She has died, aged 91. pic.twitter.com/wL7nBzCykW
— BBC Archive (@BBCArchive) March 20, 2018