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Kay Cavendish

(1908-2000) - Pianist and Radio Personality

Kay Cavendish was born in Hong Kong. She lived in her latter years at the White Cottage on a Forest track behind the Duddleswell Tea Rooms.

Described as Britain’s most versatile pianist she trained at the Royal Academy of Music, a protégé of Sir Henry Wood, where she was a gold medallist and began a successful career as a concert pianist with debuts at the Wigmore Hall and the Queens Hall.

On the sporting front she took part in Junior Wimbledon played county lacrosse for Surrey and represented England in fencing and hockey. When she appeared on Desert Island discs in 1962 she chose the Bach Concerto for Two Violins as her favourite.

She was also very interested in light music and jazz and in 1930 became part of a close harmony group the Cavendish Three which toured Britain and broadcast on the much loved comedy programme ITMA. She entertained for ENSA in World War II and appeared on numerous BBC programmes. She had her own radio show Kay on the Keys which ran for over 400 episodes - the longest running one-woman piano and song programme. She was known as Kitten on the Keys.

Research undertaken by Ian Brown, John Manthorpe and Jan Kemsley

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