Sunday 30 September 2018

Britain is no country for old men expecting to live longer and longer

Growth in life expectancy in Britain has come to a halt and in some areas has actually decreased. The average life expectancy for baby boys born in England in 2015 to 2017 remains unchanged, at 79.2 years, but in Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland it has declined by 0.1 years,.

The statistics represent the lowest improvement in life expectancy since records began and puts Britain behind other leading economies. Public health experts have blamed care failings and cuts to social services, while the charity, Age UK, has described the findings as “deeply depressing” and called for extra investment into Britain’s care system.

Sophie Sanders, of the ONS Centre for Ageing and Demography, said the figures represented “the lowest improvements in life expectancy since the start of the series in 1980 to 1982. This slowing in improvements is reflected in the chances of surviving to age 90 years from birth, which has also seen virtually no improvement since 2012 to 2014.” 

The former Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister and Director of Policy at Royal London, Sir Steve Webb, said : “The UK has slumped from being one of the strongest performers when it comes to improving life expectancy to bottom of the league. There is a real human cost behind these statistics and we urgently need to understand more about why this is happening. The Government needs to conduct urgent research into these worrying trends. If other countries can ride out the economic storms and continue to drive up life expectancy, there is no reason why the UK should not be able to do so.”

Jane Ashcroft, the Chief Executive of 'Anchor', England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for older people, said the figures strengthened calls for a dedicated 'Minister for Old People' : “It’s fantastic to hear that so many of us are now living into our 90s in the UK but we must not forget that with an ageing population comes greater responsibility to cater for our older people living well into retirement. As the figures increase, Government must step up to ensure good social care, housing and health care remains a priority for older people – who all too often fall through the cracks.”

Charity Director at 'Age UK', Caroline Abrahams, said the figures were “deeply depressing” and “It’s hard to attribute precise cause and effect, but the fact we are seeing this trend at the same time as our health and care services are under such acute strain is surely more than a coincidence. The Government has recently announced a 10 year bonus for the National Health Service but continues to look the other way as our care system effectively disintegrates, leaving well over a million older people with some unmet need for care.”

Shadow Health Minister, Justin Madders, said : “This slowdown in improvements in life expectancy exposes the terrible effects of austerity policies imposed by the Government since 2010. It is simply astonishing that the UK is now falling so far behind other countries. It is an appalling sign of the Government’s failure to improve people’s life chances as years of underfunding in health and social care take their toll.”

The annual change in life expectancy for 65 year olds in weeks for men and women between 1981- 83 and 2015 -2017

Report : National Life tables UK 2015 - 2017 :

Friday 28 September 2018

Britain is no country for more and more old men deliberately targeted by fraudsters because they are old

Britain in 2017 was a country where 49,000 men and women over 60 were known to be victims of fraudsters, which is the equivalent to six every hour and a figure which had doubled over that of three years before. In addition, 1,140 victims were aged over 90 and 13 were over 100. The real figure of victims is likely to have been many more, given the fact that so many scams are unreported.

Professor Keith Brown of Bournemouth University, claimed these reports represented as few as 5% of the true total and said : "It's hugely under-reported - we're talking about millions of victims. If this were burglary or street crime there would be a huge outcry, but it's hidden behind closed doors. Over the next few years this will become the next big scandal like the dawning realisation of the scale of child abuse."

Professor Mark Button, Director of the Fraud Studies Centre, estimates that about 10% of the 3.2 million annual frauds are perpetrated against old men and women and said : "A number wouldn't want to accept that they're a victim. Some wouldn't even realise it's been a fraud. People don't like to feel they've been tricked." He said that a "generational politeness" could prevent old people from stopping engaging with fraudsters, who are deliberately targeting them.

Keith Brown concurs with this when he says of the fraudsters that : "If you're in the early stages of dementia or cognitive decline, you probably don't remember that you gave some money to somebody last week, the week before and the week before and before you know it, the criminals are targeting you like crazy. They just take you for everything and you're just not aware of it because you're not realising that this activity is going on." 
"Joe public doesn't realise that these people in the early stages of dementia are just so vulnerable and particularly those lonely, elderly people, living at home. They haven't got somebody in the house they can just check something with or double check something with and criminals know this." 
"These criminals sound very convincing. Let's not be under any illusion, there is so much money to be made in this form of scamming that they train. They go through all sorts of training courses, They know what to say. They know how to say it and they can convince us and this is the biggest problem. Criminals call these things 'suckers' lists' - an address list of people who are older, in the early years of dementia and they're the most vulnerable things to criminals because that's the sort of person they're going to go after because you can't just scam them once, you can scam them multiple times."

Among those who have been repeatedly scammed is a farmer in Norfolk in his 80s, who has lost £450,000 over six years after fraudsters convinced him he had won £1.5m in a lottery. His daughter-in-law said : "They said all he had to do was send them an administration fee. It started small about £300 and then he should receive the money. but they didn't stop at that. Obviously he didn't get his money and they kept ringing. It's gone out of all proportion since that initial contact. I think the scammers are absolutely evil, but they are also very clever in how they do it and they make it sound very plausible, so much so that it sucked him in and probably hundreds of other people."

Police and trading standards officers in Norfolk have been involved in his case but his family believes he is now "addicted" to his pursuit of a big-money payout and is still trying to send money.

This year the so-called 'advanced fee' frauds, which include victims, like the old farmer, being told they have won a lottery but must pay a fee to receive the prize, have been the most common scams, with almost 20,000 cases - including 370 victims aged over 90. Second up is 'computer software service' fraud, in which victims are told their computer has been compromised by a virus - there were, in total, more than 12,300 cases of this last year.

Research suggests that almost a third of elderly victims of fraud have been too embarrassed to tell their own families or friends what happened to them. A report from the 'Centre for Counter Fraud Studies' warns of the 'stigma' felt by elderly people about being cheated and warned that the over-65s are three times more likely to lose money to fraudsters than to be burgled.

Ironically, the increase in the number of old people going online and thus joining the 21st century has increased their risk of becoming victims of fraud. In the 65 to 74-year-old age range, the study says people are 54 times more likely to be a victim of fraud or computer scams than they are to be physically robbed.

In addition to 'advance fee' frauds and 'computer service software' scams, many old men and women in Britain are assaulted by a battery of :

* bogus charities

* investment fraud

* fake competitions

* health frauds

* false claims for debts

* fraud from identity theft

* inflated or fake fees for services

* online shopping scams.

Old men and women who think you have been scammed, take hope. You have a knight in shining armour in Mark White who has set up a helpline for you called  'Reassura', to give a second opinion and advice to you in situations where you fear you are being defrauded. Mark said that older people needed to see speaking out as a way of preventing fraud and "not a sign of weakness. That victims of fraud are the most reluctant to speak about the issue is telling of the taboo around fraud - and the long-term feelings of shame and embarrassment they unfairly face."

Thursday 27 September 2018

Britain is a country where an old artist called David Hockney has designed a window for an extremely old Abbey called Westminster, to celebrate the reign of a very old Queen called Elizabeth

The window, which the 69 year old Dean of the thousand year old Westminster Abbey, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, commissioned the 81 year old David to create as a celebration of the 65 year reign of the country's 92 year old Queen, has now been installed and the new 'Queen’s Window' replaces what was mostly blank 19th-century glass.

The Dean said : “I didn’t want anything figurative or heraldic, that would have been crass, I think. So we have a country scene for a woman who absolutely loves the country - you get those images of the Queen driving her Land Rover in her mac up in Scotland - its an ideal celebration. This is not a commemoration, it is a celebration." He said that she had seen a sketch of the window but he didn't know if she liked it because : "The Queen very often doesn’t given you a very strong reaction.” 

He was quite clear that he liked it because : “ It has an amazing brightness and clarity, it is a simple, utterly readable, direct scene. It is wonderful to have something which is utterly contemporary from one of the greatest artists of the Queen’s reign." 

David said that, when it came to design, the iPad was a natural thing to use because it was back lit, like a window. The finished work measures 8.5 metres high and 3.5 metres wide and was created by a team of 10 craftspeople at Barley Studio in York, which specialises in stained glass.

Helen Whittaker, the Studio’s Creative Director, said it had been a relatively straightforward project : “David was quite clear as to what he wanted to portray. In technique, he has kept to coloured glass and lead, which is very much the essence of Matisse’s window at Saint-Paul de Vence. It has been a dream to work on and he is a super chap to work with.”

David, visiting London from his home in Los Angeles, was present yesterday when the window was unveiled for the first time and said : "I know this is an historic place and I know it's going to last." He chose hawthorn blossom because for a few days of the year it looked like champagne had been poured over all the bushes. "It's rather a celebratory thing. Its the height of spring and summer." When asked if he'd had any response to the window from the Queen, who had not seen the finished result he said : "Not yet, but I hope she'll like it. I'm sure she will."

Thursday 20 September 2018

Britain is a country where old men, once lads, remember a summer's afternoon in 1965, in a school called Eltham Green and "We will yell with all of our might"

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This is Frank today and retired, but back in the summer of 1965, alongside Stan, George and Bill, he was an 18 year old school leaver. All of them were post-Second World War baby boomers and pupils in a huge South East London comprehensive school called Eltham Green. George died in a motor accident when he was in his twenties in the 1970s and Stan, who was a well respected family doctor in Whitehaven, died last year. Of Bill, I know not.

Eltham Green was demolished in 2015, but in 1965 it was only 9 years old and was one of London County Council's newly-built, showpiece schools dedicated to the principle of an egalitarian education for its 2,500 pupils. Despite it being so young, a 'tradition' had started that, the Sixth Form school leavers would do something to disrupt the Head Master's 'Sixth Form Leavers' Service' in the school hall which had an audience of a thousand pupils and staff.

Up to that point, the sixth form jape had been fairly mediocre stuff : the year before planting alarm clocks in cupboards in the hall, timed to go off when the Old Man, Mr Davies, was into his speech and the year before that. chaining the exit doors, so no one could get out.

This year, 1965, would be in a different league and memorable. The more so since a number of dignitaries would be present in the front row including Dick Crossman, was then Minister of Housing and
Local Government in Harold Wilson's Labour Government and had spoken the year before at the school's sixth form conference on the subject of 'Science and Society'. They were there to mark the passing out of the first cohort of pupils to graduate having spent their full seven years, from the age of 11 to 18, in the school.

The night before this Leavers' Service, the four lads met for a drink in the local Yorkshire Grey pub and, after closing time and dressed in dark clothing, climbed over the school gates and made their way to the hall, Here, armed with a master key, which Frank had 'borrowed' from the Head of Science, Mr Bousfield, they entered the hall through a side door.

Once inside the darkened hall, the tick of the clock startled them, but they put their plan into effect. They found and placed three tables, on on top of the other and surmounted by a chair under the wooden sounding board above the stage and closest to the wall and fearless Bill, climbed to the summit carrying a boxed radio speaker, which had previously been located in a music room behind the stage. He then placed the speaker out of sight, at the bottom of the wooden sounding board closest to the wall.

Fed into the back of the speaker and running from it was a single shellac-insulated wire, which the lads ran discreetly down to the floor by way of the corner between the wall and wooden cladding at the back of the hall and thence under the door and into the corridor behind the stage which led in turn to a succession of small music rooms.

They fed the wire, now at ground level, into one of these rooms and into the back of a reel-to reel tape recorder. George then placed the spooled tape he had brought with him on the deck and fed the tape onto the blank spool. The lads then made their exit from the school in the early hours of the morning, locking the hall door behind them.

After lunch the next day, the hall began to fill up. First the younger kids downstairs and then the Sixth Form in the balcony. The service was due to start at 2 o'clock and at 1.50, Frank, made his way to the music room and switched on the tape recorder.

It would play the music which they had compiled after after listening to hours of hours of broadcasts from a pirate radio station which they had recorded by means of a microphone placed in front of a transistor radio. It was George, the group's technician, who spliced the tape once they had found the music they wanted to play. It was also George who had master-minded the single shellac wire. Before he left the music room, Frank placed a tray of glasses on top of the recorder and then made his exit and joined the rest of the Sixth Form with their tutors on the balcony of the hall.

The Old Man was well into his speech with the usual stuff about 'torch bearers' when the first blast of music came out of the hidden speaker :

Now is the time to say Goodbye
Now is the time to yield a sigh (yield it, yield it)
Now is the time to wend our waaaayeeeeee
Until we meet again
Some sunny day.

We're leaving now,
We wish you all goodbye
Fartatata, fartatata..

The Headmaster, Mr Davies sat down. The pupils erupted in laughter and teachers in the hall ran around like blue-arsed flies, trying to find from where the blast of music was coming. They were  unsuccessful. After playing for two and a half minutes, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's "Goodbye" finished. It was then that the Old Man made his big mistake. He got to his feet and resumed his speech, but before he did so, with good grace thanked the perpetrators and said :"Better than the alarm clocks, I must admit and let's move on."

Unbeknown to him or anyone in hall or school, except the lads on the balcony and one or two other  sixth formers, including Phil, from this point the tape played blank for about another ten minutes. In fact, Mr Davies had finished his speech and sat down and the service was about to end when Phil, realising that the finale would be lost, sprang to his feet and to force a delay, yelled out : "Three Cheers for the Headmaster."

The cheers came and were then enveloped by the music.

Here they come again, mmmm-mm-mm,
Catch us if you can, mmmm-mm-mm,
Time to get a move on, mmmm-mm-mm,
We will yell with all of our might.

Catch us if you can ......

Now we gotta run, mmmm-mm-mm,
No more time for fun, mmmm-mm-mm,
When we're gettin' angry, mmmm-mm-mm,
We will yell with all of our might.

Catch us if you can .....

Here they come again, mmmm-mm-mm,
Catch us if you can, mmmm-mm-mm,
Time to get a move on, mmmm-mm-mm,
We will yell with all of our might.

Catch us if you can.

The laughter was deafening. Kids started dancing in the aisles. The service was at an end.

At this point the Upper Sixth, Form Tutor, Mr Callum, seated with the sixth form on the balcony, said to Frank : "Nine out of Ten Hickman."

He was wrong. It was, indisputably, "10 out of 10".

The story of the lads' ruse spread to all South London school kids and doubtless their teachers. Somehow the lads did what youth and the Dave Clark Five did in the 1965 when they sang :
"We will yell with all of our might."

After the event, all the lads left school for the remainder of that term with the exception of Frank. Unfortunately, the Headmaster had decided to take things seriously after the local press picked up the story and because there was a suspicion the lads had broken into the school. Apparnetly, another sixth former 'grassed' on Frank who was summoned to the Headmaster's Office and expelled. As a postscript, he went on the gain a degree in physics and a doctorate based on relativity and then after teaching for a few years, built his own company, a successful consultancy in IT management within the financial services sector. 

Eltham Green : demolished in 2015

Sunday 16 September 2018

Britain is no country for an old Army veteran of 1950s British nuclear testing looking for recognition called Terry Quinlan

Terry, who is 79 years old, was born in Royston, Hertfordshire just before the start of the Second World War in 1938, was 19 when he was 'called up' for his two years National Serviceman attached to the Royal Army Service Corps. It was at the height of the Cold War between the West and Soviet Russia in which nuclear bomb testing was a regular feature of the brinkmanship which underpinned the War. It was also a feature of a vastly weakened post-War Britain, desperately keeping up with its American ally. He was one of 4,000 servicemen based on Christmas Island in the Pacific in 1958 and served as a 'B3 Specialist'  working with the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment and was there to move the equipment for the bombs back and forth.

Today, those exposed to nuclear radiation are covered in protective gear and avoid any sustained contact. Terry, as part of his 'service', along with the 109 other men in his unit, was exposed to 5 nuclear bomb test explosions with 4 hydrogen bombs 22 miles away and the one atom bomb less than 9 miles from where he was based. He was provided with no protective clothing and in the blistering tropical heat, was wearing nothing more than shorts, boots, puttees and a jungle hat. When a detonation was due, he was told to sit on the beach with his back to the blast with his eyes closed with his fists covering his eyes.

Terry recalled :  “It was terrifying hearing that countdown and then when the bomb went off it was so bright I could see through my hands, I could see my bones and the blast pushed us back along the ground. The blast and radiation flattened the palm trees in front of us and tossed the boats out of the water, it was terrible.” The boats in question were landing craft from HMS Narvik. In addition, "It singed the hairs on the back of your neck and of course the noise - the noise from a hydrogen bomb is unbelievable."

                         1.8 Megatons

                         3 Megatons

                         2 Kilotons

                          1 Megaton

                           800 Kilotons
In the aftermath of the blasts Terry remembers seeing : dead fish within a 50 mile radius ; liquidised coral and crystalised sand, turned black. Some men were asked to search the island to catch and kill birds so they wouldn’t fly away and spread radiation and they found the animals lying on the ground where they could easily pick them up.

The British veterans of Christmas Island and other nuclear test sites in the Pacific and around Australia have never been awarded a medal for their service or compensation for their ill health afterwards. It is thought around 21,000 British servicemen witnessed the tests.

Terry has said : “So many died from radiation and cancer and more than that when they had children they were affected too. So many were born with unexplained ill health and some with congenital deformities, all kinds of diseases and we are now seeing that is being passed on to their grandchildren. It’s dreadful. The MOD is insistent to this day that we had protection and that the bombs were exploding so high that they wouldn’t bother us, but there were no safety measures. We were living in these areas in tents, pilots were flying through the mushroom clouds to collect samples with no protection whatsoever and they died. I believe we were guinea pigs really.”

He was contacted by the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association who told him there were not many from the Island tests were still alive which prompted him to try and find his colleagues. So far he hasn’t been able to locate a single person in his unit. He is now working with the charity to raise awareness and get recognition for the veterans and their families. Terry said : “Other countries who had people stationed at the nuclear test sites have compensated and recognised their veterans. New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, America, but not us.”

Terry himself suffered health problems after the tests : “I was always a very fit and healthy man, but a couple of years after I left Christmas Island a swelling came up on my side. It got harder and more painful and grew so large I could rest my arm on it. I went to Oldham Royal Infirmary and they operated on me straight away. The doctor described it as a tumorous growth like bunches of little berries and he cut it all out. I can’t say for sure, but I believe it is a result of what happened on Christmas Island because I found out later so many of my colleagues were dying of cancer.”

In addition, in one test : "I was hit in the soft part of my throat during a blast. I thought it was a piece of coral or something, but years later I was having pains and they discovered a foreign body. In 2004 during my triple heart bypass they took out a piece of 8x4mm steel shrapnel, pointed at both ends, which was only an inch away from my heart.”

Given the fact that France, the USA and Australia have all given compensation to their test veterans Terry said : “We have been totally ignored and yet it is still affecting families to this day. It feels like they want to sweep it under the rug until there are none of us left, but there will always be voices and they won’t be quieted. We were young when we went out there and we trusted what we were told. We have been let down and it needs to be put right.”

Terry, along with the British Nuclear Veterans and his daughter Anne are speaking out about the experiences of the veterans and their families and have lent support to an e-petition asking people to sign a request for a plea to be made in a committee room in the House of Commons that those who were involved in the tests receive recognition and a medal for their service.

"It's dreadful really; the fact we never got any recognition 
whatsoever, not even a thank you. We were just swept aside."
"The very least they could do is give us a medal."

Award a medal to British personnel involved in any nuclear       testing program                                

Sunday 9 September 2018

Britain is no longer a country for and says "Farewell" to an old Wildlife Observer called Johnny Kingdom

It is by a cruel twist of fate that Johnny, who has died, as a result of a digger accident on his farm, at the age of 79, should have been brought to a life of wildlife observation 47 years ago while he was convalescing from another serious accident involving agricultural machinery.

Johnny was born the son of Joyce and Walter in a terraced house without either running water or an inside toilet in the tiny village of High Bray, North Devon on February 23 1939. It was seven months before the outbreak of the Second World War broke and a ridge of high pressure was feeding bitterly cold air across the moor fed by an easterly wind.

He was brought up, the only boy among five sisters, living barely above poverty on the wage of his father who worked on ten hour shifts as the 'powder monkey' in the local Notts Quarry, mining sandstone. It was a responsible and potentially dangerous job which meant that he carried powder or other explosives to the quarry's blaster and assisted by placing prepared explosive in a hole and connected the lead wire to a blasting machine. Johnny recalled : He was called 'the Cat because he was so surefooted and very fit. To lay charges, he didn't use ladders; he climbed, he leapt from ledge to ledge on the rock face. The Cat never fell.' Apparently, his reflexes were so fast he could scoop up two hiding rats in one hand.

With so many mouths to feed it was important that Johnny and his siblings were taught to supplement the family diet by learning to forage and hunt from an early age and he recalled childhood days picking whortleberries and tickling trout in the local river. He became a skilled tracker, poaching for  rabbits and salmon from the River Bray and recalled : "My Dad used to take me out, I was only 13-14, down to the river and used to take the salmon from the river. My Dad used to say : 'Well if the salmon comes up from the sea, it's good enough for anybody.' " In addition, he made money by trapping moles, badgers, foxes and weasels to sell their skins for fur.

Johnny recalled : 'I went to school of course, but the teachers were not always best pleased to see me there. I swore a lot,I played truant, I answered back. I was out to make my friends and classmates laugh; that was the whole point of school for me and good fun it was too, at times.' 

Having left South Moulton Secondary School at the age of 15 in 1954 Johnny worked as a farm labourer before, at the age of 17, moving to work at Notts Quarry where the dangers were underlined when he 'was ripping stones out and I went down with a bunch of them, falling 50 feet down a 75 degree slope. One of the boulders that fell with me landed on the inside of my ankle and cut the artery.'

At the age of 20 in 1959, he was called up for 19 months national service and served in the Army Regimental Police based in Hong Kong. Returning home, he lived at Brayford a further 2 years before, at the age of 24, he left home after marrying his childhood sweetheart, Julie, and settled down 12 miles outside the Moor in the village of Bishops Nympton.

He worked as a quarryman and like his father, as a powder monkey and at the age of 32 in 1971, Johnny was working a lumberjack when he had a fearful accident which changed his life. He recalled : "I was a timber feller and I'd done dangerous trees with a tractor. I was driving a winch tractor and reversing back with the anchor off the ground and a chain broke and the hydraulic arm flyed through the back of the cab and hit me smack in the face and give me four fractures."

In fact, as Johnny confessed : "It broke the bone above my eye, the bottom of my jaw and my front teeth. If that blow had hit my nose, just a couple of inches to the left, it would have pushed into my brain and I'd have been killed."

Knocked out, he came to with a vague feeling that someone had given him a good hiding. Covered in blood and with his right eye completely closed, he managed to climb into his pick-up truck and steer it along the lonely track to the main road. Somehow he drove himself home. He was rushed to hospital : "The doctor said I was like a vehicle in a crash-repair shop - and it took him a long time to fix me. I went all to pieces."

"I was under the doctor a fair while and I didn't know what to do with meself. I wanted to go back on the timber again but I'd lost me nerve. I went all to pieces and so they gave me tablets to take and I got into the wild life and it seemed to take the pressure from me. Me mate let me use his video camera one day and this started me off. I'd always loved seeing wild life, but as soon as soon as I'd bought that video camera, I just kept going nearly every day."

It was an apocryphal moment : “Something in me came back to life. I’d started to look up again at what was around, what was happening in nature. Now I wanted to take home my prey not in the back of the van, bloodied and ready for the butcher, but on videotape, so that it might be seen over and over, and give pleasure to myself and others. Suddenly I felt excited to be alive.”

Armed with the skills and knowledge of a countryman and the help of his inexpensive Sony Handicam 8mm home video camera, he recorded the wildlife on his Exmoor  doorstep and captured scenes of sensitivity in English wildlife, some of which hadn't been recorded before. What started as hobby, with Johnny showing his VHS videos at the village hall, blossomed into a modest business called 'JFK Films'  and over time he made 28 films.

Johnny was 'discovered' when Daily Telegraph correspondent Willy Poole turned up at his stall at Honiton and bought one of wildlife compilations and the "Next thing I knew my story was in the paper and he called my film a masterpiece. That’s how it all started.” 

Johnny recalled he was 53 when : "My first work as a wildlife presenter was for Yorkshire Television in 1992 (broadcast in November 1993). It came about after a journalist for the Daily Telegraph bought one of my first DVDs while he was down in Devon on holiday. He wrote an article in the paper calling it a ‘masterpiece,’ I still feel flattered, and I was immediately approached by Yorkshire Television to make a film about my life on Exmoor."

National fame and recognition came when his 2006 10, part series 'Johnny Kingdom: A Year on Exmoor' was shown on BBC Two  The series coincided with the publication of his autobiography, 'Johnny Kingdom - A Wild Life on Exmoor.' He followed this with one-off programmes featuring visits to Lapland and to the Scottish Highlands and a new BBC series, 'Johnny's New Kingdom' in 2008. Finally, In 2015, at the age of 76, he presented a 4-part series for ITV called 'Johnny Kingdom's Wild Exmoor'. As a result, Johnny's new wealth allowed him to buy 55 acres of land on Exmoor, which he set out to make it a haven for as much local wildlife as possible.

Johnny at work :

Climbing to see a buzzard's nest

Using badger's cake

Stoats at play

Fox cub

The hide

Herons mating

Red deer stags

Dunlin from the floating hide

Stags in the heather 

His television agency, 'Hilary Knight,' paid tribute to Johnny saying : “ 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. He lit up our TV screens with his enthusiasm and passion. He became a very proficient photographer and cameraman and his work became very sought after. The various Devon shows, and in particular South Molton Market, will be a sadder place without his cheery presence. He will be sadly missed.”