Malcolm Kellard

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Malcolm Kellard (22 November 1930–15 October 2007) was Head of Sport at BBC Scotland from 1974 until his early retirement.

BBC Northern Ireland

Kellard's career began when, at the age of 17, he wrote to the BBC in Belfast telling them he didn't think much of their cricket commentaries. They replied that, if he thought he could do better, to come in and have a try. He did and, so impressed were the producers at his knowledge, articulacy and natural broadcasting voice, he became a regular contributor.

His first full-time job was, as he described it, as a "building trade salesman". His second job was "in showbusiness", distributing films for MGM.

However, when those daily jobs began to interfere with his increasing broadcasting commitments, he gave them up.

It was as an on-screen presenter in BBC Northern Ireland that Malcolm came to the public's attention. He fronted the nightly news programme Scene Around Six for many years. He also worked on current affairs programmes and presented the Belfast heats of Come Dancing. He became known as Mr Northern Ireland, turning his hand with skill, authority and humour to all types of programmes.

His professionalism and great knowledge of many sports led to him being appointed Head of Sport at BBC Northern Ireland, where he introduced Peter Alliss to television, before being offered the same post in Scotland.

Head of Sport, BBC Scotland, 1974–

Kellard took control of BBC Scotland's sports department after Peter Thomson retired from that post in 1974. He arrived at a time of change as black and white was being phased out and replaced increasingly by colour broadcasts.

His main ambition was to extend the output beyond the football-dominated programming that existed then. He was the first person to televise indoor bowls, filmed ski championships in the Cairngorms, introduced The Scottish Sports Personality of the Year Awards and was presented with Glasgow's Loving Cup for the worldwide coverage of the city's marathon, all within months of his arrival in Scotland.

He took early retirement from the BBC.

Personal life

Malcolm and his first wife, Cynthia, were divorced and he remarried after he met Kay Imrie, a keen sportswoman and president of the Scottish National Ski Council.

Following his early retirement from the BBC, he and his wife travelled extensively, playing golf all over the UK, Europe and South Africa. After a game of golf with his son, Michael, he went to his home in Bearsden to watch Tiger Woods win the 2000 Open at St Andrews. That night he suffered a stroke, which meant he had to spend much of his remaining life in a wheelchair.

Despite this, he and Kay continued to travel and enjoy many social occasions with their family and friends. His mind remained sharp.

Death

Malcolm Kellard died suddenly on 15 October 2007 at Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow. He was aged 76.

He was survived by his wife Kay Imrie, and children Lynne and Michael. However, it was only a couple of years after his death that Kay was first diagnosed with cancer and she subsequently died in 2012.