Born in London in 1910, Rex Keating was a broadcaster and writer
specialising in popular archaeology, scientific and environmental issues, population and family planning . At the age of 19 Rex joined his parents in Egypt where his father was head of the Ports and Lights Administration. This was the move which changed his life and led to an international career. His first job was as an official on the Suez Canal, examining ships coming from all over the world, meanwhile pursuing his passion for amateur radio. He started sending scripts to Egyptian State Broadcasting (ESB), his scripts were accepted and this led to his being a founder member and then Director of the European Programmes Division. In 1939 Rex was responsible for the first broadcast of Tutankhamun’s Trumpets, thus being accused of invoking the curse of Tutankhamun and starting the Second World War.
During the War in Cairo, while continuing with the ESB, Rex was a war correspondent and commentator for War Pictorial News, reporting the Desert war news from North Africa. From 1945 until 1948 (the last unhappy years of the British Mandate) he was Deputy Director of the Palestine Broadcasting Service. Narrowly escaping death in the blowing up of the King David Hotel, he was one of the last British officials to leave Jerusalem at the end of the Mandate, escaping across the desert in a tiny Austin Seven loaded with cans of petrol.

From Jerusalem he went to Cyprus where he was Deputy Director of the Near East Broadcasting Service (Sharq El Adna) and then founder and first Director of the Cyprus Broadcasting Service – until the transmitter was blown up during the independence struggles. Rex Keating then returned briefly to London in 1955 as one of the first ITN newscasters alongside Robin Day. Then in 1956 Rex moved to UNESCO in Paris where he headed the English language radio division, working in the Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Africa and South East Asia. His major undertaking was to cover the Campaign for the Safeguard of the Monuments of Nubia, between 1960 and 1969, when most of Nubia disappeared under Lake Nasser with the rebuilding of the Aswan Dam. His knowledge of archaeology and Egypt from his youth proved invaluable for this task.


After retiring from UNESCO in 1970 Rex Keating was active as Mass Media Consultant to
the International Planned Parenthood Federation,organising regional training courses in
South East Asia. He also undertook assignments for UNDP and the World Bank in West
Africa researching and writing a total of fifteen film shorts on development topics such as
agriculture and health.

Nubian Twilight, 1963, Hart-Davis, London, New York and Stockholm
Nubian Rescue (History of Unesco’s Nubian Campaign) 1975, Robert Hale London; Hawthorn Books, New York; Gondolat, Budapest
Grass Roots Radio (Fieldwork training manual for radio production), 1977 Published by the IPPF in English and several Asian languages
The Trumpets of Tutankhamun, 1999, Fisher Miller Publishing, UK
        You can order the Trumpets of Tutankhamun at special discount rate of £5 + £2 p&p here

Numerous articles and radio documentary programmes broadcast in many countries; documentary films for Unesco, World Bank and UNDP including The Land of Kush, a Unesco documentary on the monuments of Sudanese Nubia.


Rex Keating’s film and written archives are held by the Imperial War Museum. Second World War Years in the Middle East, Palestine 1945-1948, Cyprus (1948-1954), and by the Middle East Centre, St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Selected broadcasts and recordings by Rex Keating are held by the National Sound Archive at the British Library and others by Unesco. His photos of the Nubian Campaign are held by Unesco and the Société des Cultures Nubiennes.

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