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Russell Harty
Russell Harty Allan Warren.jpg
Portrait by Allan Warren
Born Fredric Russell Harty
(1934-09-05)5 September 1934
Blackburn, Lancashire, England
Died 8 June 1988(1988-06-08) (aged 53)
Leeds, England
Cause of death Hepatitis
Occupation Talk show host

Fredric Russell Harty (5 September 1934 – 8 June 1988) was a British television presenter of arts programmes and chat shows.

Harty was the son of Fred Harty, a fruit and vegetable stallholder on the local market in Blackburn, Lancashire, and Myrtle Rishton. He attended Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School on West Park Road where he enjoyed appearing in School plays and met, for the first time, the then English teacher Ronald Eyre who directed a number of the productions and thereafter at Exeter College, Oxford, where he obtained a first-class degree in English Literature.

On leaving university, Harty became an English and drama teacher in Giggleswick, North Yorkshire. In 1964, he started a year lecturing in English Literature at the City University of New York, and finally began his broadcasting career a few years later, when he became a radio producer for the BBC Third Programme, reviewing arts and literature.

He got his first break in 1970 presenting the arts programme Aquarius, that was intended to be London Weekend Television's response to the BBC's Omnibus. One programme involving a typically offbeat meeting of cultures saw Harty travelling to Italy in 1974 to engineer a first encounter between the entertainer Gracie Fields and the composer William Walton, two fellow Lancastrians now living on the neighbouring islands of Capri and Ischia. A documentary on Salvador Dalí ("Hello Dalí") directed by Bruce Gowers, won an Emmy. Another award winning documentary was "Finnan Games" about a Scottish community - Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard to begin the Jacobite rebellion - and its Highland Games. Also directed by Bruce Gowers.

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