Julian Keane dies after lengthy illness: Tributes pour in for BBC World Service presenter

Tributes pour in for long-serving BBC World Service and Newsday presenter Julian Keane who died after lengthy illness

  • News of the broadcaster’s death came via a heartfelt tribute from colleagues 
  • Julian began presenting Newsday in 2012 after 25 years on World Service shows
  • Keane’s death sparked an outpouring of tributes, led by his BBC colleagues 

BBC Newsday presenter Julian Keane has died aged 57 after a ‘long illness’.

The long-serving broadcaster’s death was announced via a heartfelt tribute from his Corporation colleagues this morning.

And many more saddened World Service staff have flooded social media with their memories of the ‘lovely, charming, kind’ journalist. 

BBC Newsday presenter Julian Keane has died after a ‘long illness’, sparking a flood of tributes from his World Service colleagues

Most recently, the long-serving World Service journalist presented Newsday, since the programme's launch in 2012

Most recently, the long-serving World Service journalist presented Newsday, since the programme’s launch in 2012

The Newsday team today wrote: ‘Our dear colleague and Newsday presenter Julian Keane has died after a long illness. 

‘Many listeners will have been familiar with his voice on the World Service for more than a quarter of a century, initially on the BBC’s French Service, then on Europe Today, The World Today and The Newsroom. 

‘Most recently, Julian presented Newsday, since the programme’s launch in 2012. 

‘As well as being a warm, calm and surefooted presence in the studio, Julian also presented the programme from a long list of countries, often finding himself in the middle of some of the biggest news stories we’ve covered.’ 

Keane joined the BBC in 1988 on an apprenticeship and went on to have a career stretching over 30 years. 

Throughout his time at the BBC World Service, he was dispatched to report some of the most important global events.

Keane's death sparked an outpouring of tributes on social media, led by his BBC colleagues

Keane’s death sparked an outpouring of tributes on social media, led by his BBC colleagues

Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, economic crises in Venezuela and the toppling of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe were among his impressive portfolio. 

A highlight reel of some of these moments was compiled by the BBC Newsday team this morning. 

Keane’s death sparked an outpouring of tributes on social media, led by his BBC colleagues.

World Service journalist Rebecca Kesby tweeted: ‘Real sadness at BBC World Service over the last couple of days after the passing of one of, if not THE best presenters we’ve had, Julian Keane. 

‘Such a talented journalist, such a lovely colleague. Missed by all, always.’  

The journalist's death has reportedly engulfed the BBC World Service newsroom with sadness, according to his colleagues

The journalist’s death has reportedly engulfed the BBC World Service newsroom with sadness, according to his colleagues

Keane presented the Thursday and Friday Newsday radio shows, which provide current affairs news from around the world.

Long interested in international affairs, Keane speaks French and studied at the Lycee Francais de Londres from 1967 to 1979.

BBC broadcaster of 18 years Joe Lynam wrote: ‘RIP Julian Keane – One of the best voices you will ever hear on BBC World Service and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet in your life. 

‘He was a huge influence on me when I joined the BBC. We’ll miss you buddy.’  

Mr Lynam’s thoughts were echoed by several other World Service journalists who hailed Keane as an inspiration in their early days at the Corporation.

Presenter Justine Greene tweeted: ‘Such devastating news that BBC World Service  presenter Julian Keane has died. 

‘He was the first person to welcome me to WS. What a brilliant, insightful presenter he was, with a superb broadcasting voice and immense knowledge plus such a kind soul. My thoughts are with his family.’ 

Keane presented the Thursday and Friday Newsday radio shows, which provide current affairs news from around the world

Keane presented the Thursday and Friday Newsday radio shows, which provide current affairs news from around the world

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