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Dennis Bardens (born 19 July 1911 in Midhurst, Sussex — 7 February 2004 London) "played a brief, but crucial, role in broadcasting history"[1] as the founder of the BBC television programme Panorama, a show which would later inspire the American television show 60 Minutes. Dennis Bardens was a freelance London journalist for most of his career.


According to his obituary Bardens journalistic career involved work at all the major London newspapers, and even a stint as a spy during World War II.[1] In the words of The Guardian:

"Meanwhile, Bardens was proving himself as a journalist, working, during the 1930s, for the Sunday Chronicle, Sunday Express and Daily Mirror. In 1940, he became a distinguished reporter of the Blitz. After discharge from the Royal Artillery on medical grounds, he spent two years with the Ministry of Information, and was in charge of coordinating plans for newspaper services in Britain in the event of a German invasion. In 1943, he was transferred to liaison work with the Czechoslovak government in exile, which included, at the end of the war, secret service work in Czechoslovakia."

After the war Bardens published history and biography in addition to his occasional journalism. These include, the following, which is not an inclusive list.

Elizabeth Fry (1961)
Churchill in Parliament (1969)
Portrait of a statesman: the personal life story of Sir Anthony Eden (1955)
Lord Justice Birkett (1962)
Princess Margaret (1965)
A History of Barrow Hepburn & Gale (1947)

Dennis Barden's books also demonstrate his interest in psychic phenomena, an interest he shared with his good friend, Austin Osman Spare. Bardens wrote Ghosts and Hauntings 1965, Mysterious Worlds (1970) and Psychic Animals: An Investigation of Their Secret Powers (1990).

Bardens was a member of The Ghost Club and Ghost Club Society, as well as International Pen, the Society of Authors and the National Union of Journalists.


  1. ^ a b Car, Hills (21 February 2004). "Dennis Bardens, Occult writer who founded Panorama". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 4 December 2009.