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Johnny Kingdom dies aged 79 after 'digger accident'

By Lucia Binding, news reporter
Wildlife presenter Johnny Kingdom has died after suffering an accident on his land.
The filmmaker, photographer and author, who had presented television shows on BBC Two and ITV, was 79.
Police were called to a field near Wadham Cross in Knowstone, Devon, after it was reported that a digger had rolled over at around 9pm on Thursday."Emergency services attended and a 79-year-old local man was pronounced dead at the scene," a police spokeswoman said.Mr Kingdom's family said in a statement that "a legend had been lost"."Johnny would want you all to continue with his love for Exmoor as you all meant so much to him."As the loving man himself would have said: 'Farewell to all you lovely people'. RIP 23/02/39- 06/09/18."The family has asked for privacy following his death.Many friends and fans have paid tribute to Mr Kingdom on social media.
Sad news today, Johnny Kingdom has passed away following an accident on his land, enthusiasm on tap, and a legend in his own way, and I’m sure inspired a lot of wildlife watchers, me included, thoughts with his family.— Mark brown (@Marksperegrine) September 7, 2018
Presenter Richard Taylor-Jones said: "A wonderful, magical friend has died in a tragic accident."Johnny Kingdom and I spent five joyous years together filming the wildlife of Exmoor."He taught me so much and reminded me why we all need nature in our lives and how to enjoy it in the best possible way."
A wonderful, magical friend has died in a tragic accident. Johnny Kingdom and I spent 5 joyous years together filming the wildlife of Exmoor. He taught me so much and reminded me why we… https://t.co/QXAE6ZVYI2— richard taylor-jones (@rtaylorjones) September 7, 2018
One fan, named Daniel Brown, tweeted: "He was a true West Country, Exmoor and wildlife legend."His shows, books and eccentric Bird Fair speeches brought us great joy and he was such a down to earth humble person to meet."
RIP Johnny Kingdom. Such sad news, my thoughts are with his friends and family. He was a true West Country, Exmoor and wildlife legend. His shows, books and eccentric Bird Fair speeches brought us great joy and he was such a down to earth humble person to meet.— Daniel Brown (@Dans_Pictures) September 7, 2018
Another Twitter user, known as Camo Dave, tweeted: "So shocked to hear the sad passing of a great wildlife man Johnny Kingdom R.I.P my friend."Mr Kingdom's agent, Hilary Knight, said her client "will be greatly missed"."Today we have lost one of the last true characters of rural Britain."Johnny Kingdom embodied all the attributes that are associated with true countrymen."Born and bred an Exmoor man through-and-through he loved his Devon patch and all the flora and fauna within."A former gravedigger for his local parish for over 50 years, Mr Kingdom made wildlife films for over 20 years and specialised in his local area of Exmoor.He began his career in wildlife filming following a bad accident whilst driving a tractor, and his films and documentaries were shown on a number of British television channels.
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RIP the inspirational Exmoor wildlife enthusiast, broadcaster and photographer Johnny Kingdom. He was such a refreshing change from some of the over-polished professional presenters, while having massive subject knowledge & personality.— Hugh Weller-Lewis (@HughofBardfield) September 7, 2018
His 2006 series Johnny Kingdom: A Year on Exmoor, was shown on BBC Two as well as UKTV Gardens and UKTV People.Mr Kingdom also presented a four-part series for ITV called Johnny Kingdom's Wild Exmoor in 2015.
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