‘This Sceptred Isle’ Author and Historian Christopher Lee Dead at 79

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'This Sceptred Isle' Author and Historian Christopher Lee Dead at 79
CREDIT: Twitter

‘This Sceptred Isle’ Author and Historian Christopher Lee Dead at 79.

FAMOUS for BBC’s This Sceptred Isle on BBC Radio 4, Christopher Lee, has sadly passed away at his home in Sussex after contracting COVID-19.

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A statement from his family said: “Christopher lived with his wife, the painter, Fiona Graham-Mackay in their home in the Sussex countryside where they enjoyed many happy celebrations with family, friends and grandchildren.

“They both shared a love of the sea and would escape to their boat whenever work commitments allowed.

“Apart from his incredible academic achievements, Christopher was known for his kindness, sense of humour, his ability to forgive at the drop of a hat, and his endless generosity, especially in his willingness to inspire and encourage others to fulfil their own creative dreams. To know Christoper was to love him.


“After a spell in hospital where he contracted the Covid virus, he died at home with Fiona, his two daughters Alexandra and Victoria plus the family dogs by his side and the cat snoozing at his feet.”

Lee joined the BBC as a defence and foreign affairs correspondent and was posted to Moscow and the Middle East.

He wrote more than 100 radio plays and series and is the originator and writer of the BBC Radio 4 trilogy This Sceptred Isle, first broadcast in June 1995. It recounts, in 216 episodes each 15 minutes long (46 hours total), the history of Britain from the Romans to the death of Queen Victoria, the 20th century and the British Empire.


The series was read by Anna Massey and included extracts from the book A History of the English-Speaking Peoples written by Sir Winston Churchill, interwoven into Lee’s own account of the history. The extracts were read by Paul Eddington, who died during the production, and his role was completed by Peter Jeffrey.


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