Media families: 26. The Dimblebys

Richard Dimbleby (broadcaster) begat David and Jonathan (broadcasters), who begat Kate (Carlton TV), Kitty (Daily Mail) and Daniel (TV researcher)

Between them they have covered almost every major public event that has shaped our lives in the past half-century. They have been the chosen conduits for politicians and princes to reveal their personal thoughts to television audiences of millions. And now a third generation of Dimblebys is continuing the family tradition.

The last general election was an apt showcase for the power and influence of the old firm of Dimbleby & Dimbleby. The most media-conscious of contests, where soundbites took precedence over substance, ended with David and Jonathan fighting it out as the respective anchors of BBC and ITV.

The common perception is that the journalistic lineage of the Dimblebys started with Richard, the father of David and Jonathan, who became the BBC's Voice of the Nation. In fact, it stretches back to Jabez Bunting Dimbleby, born to a staunch Methodist family in Hull in 1827, who became a reporter and moved to London. His son, Fred, was proprietor of the Richmond and Twickenham Times by 1896 - a paper of which David Dimbleby later became chairman.

Richard began working for BBC radio news in l936, where he was the first broadcast journalist to report from the scene of the story; he started outside broadcasts and vox pops. In time he was the reassuring voice at the great ceremonies of state. One of his most enjoyable tasks, he said, was to present Panorama, the first forum for serious documentary and debate on television.

David joined the BBC in l960, rising within the corporation from one prestigious job to another, on to Panorama, Question Time and state occasions. Thanks to his newspaper interests, he is now a millionaire.

Jonathan was a later entrant, first joining BBC Bristol, then Thames TV, TV-am, and then back to the BBC. He hosted On the Record for five years, and has hosted Any Questions since l987. He hit the headlines with his documentary The Prince of Wales: An Intimate Portrait, in which the Prince admitted adultery. Thanks to the serialisation rights, he too is a millionaire.

The Dimbleby brothers' partners are also in the media. Jonathan married the journalist and author Bel Mooney, with whom he has two children. David's marriage to the cookery writer Josceline Dimbleby broke up acrimoniously, with Mrs Dimbleby striking out at her husband in the tabloids. The couple have four children. David's new partner is the television producer Belinda Sykes.

One of David's daughters, 20-year-old Kate, is about to launch her television career on a Carlton cabaret show, The Warehouse. "Nothing", she says, "could be more terrifying than finding yourself profiled by one of the Dimbleby brothers."

Daniel, 23, and Kitty, 17, son and daughter of Jonathan and Bel, are also starting out in the media. Daniel is a researcher for an independent television company, Bazal Productions, while Kitty has been writing pieces on the environment. Over the past three years she has had articles published in the Daily Mail, where she is about to begin a work-experience placement.

Daniel has already been the subject of journalistic investigation. He recently cancelled his wedding to Clare Simmonds, daughter of the cartoonist Posy Simmonds, leaving her, according to a newspaper report, "red-eyed ... shocked ... devastated". The newspaper in question? The Daily Mail. Ms Mooney said: "It was upsetting for Kitty, especially as she is meant to be working there. I had to tell her other papers may have done it in a much worse way. It's one of those lessons one has to learn".

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Insight Analyst Vacancy - Leading Marketing Agency

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency have won a fe...

Account Manager, London

£18000 - £22000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent Uncapped Commission Structure: ...

Sales Executive, London

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting entertainment comp...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star