Sister Wendy Becket dies

Sister Wendy Becket, the hermit nun who became the most unlikely TV star of the 1990s, died on Boxing Day in her beloved solitary caravan in Norfolk at the age of 88.

Wendy Becket joined the Carmellite order aged 16 and was sent to Oxford to study English literature, where she was taught by J R R Tolkein and awarded a rare Congratulatory First.

In the 1980s she was given permission to study art, mostly through books and postcards acquired from art galleries, and decided to write about her new passion to raise money for her convent – eventually resulting in a new caravan. The first of many publications was Contemporary Women Artists published in 1988, and 1991 the BBC asked her to present a documentary about the National Gallery. There were three more programmes before she decided to return to seclusion.

Her style was her own, delivered always in her black-and-white habit without script but with an ever-present toothy grin that betrayed her passion for art of all genres.

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