Vale Basia Rendall, presenter and producer

Basia Rendall.

Basia Rendall (nee Bonkowski), known for presenting Rock Around the World and producing RBT, has died.

According to a statement released by her family, Rendall was in the company of loved ones when she passed away peacefully in Sydney last Saturday, following a battle with lymphoma.

Born and raised in Adelaide, the presenter and producer was one of four children born to Polish immigrants Maria and Jerzy Bonkowski. She attended Cabra College and was attracted to writing and performing from an early age.

After initially studying law at the University of Adelaide, a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 17 prompted a switch to Flinders University where she majored in English literature and drama.

Rendall then taught drama before moving to Sydney to pursue a career in television.

Following work on SBS music television shows Rock Around the World and Continental Drift, she enjoyed a successful career both on-air and behind the scenes as a television writer and producer, working for all the commercial stations.

In 1982, she married director Kimble Rendall, with whom she adopted two children, William and Camille.

Basia Rendall (second from right) with husband Kimble (far right) and children William (far left) and Camille.

Rendall released her first book Jesse’s World in 2005, inspired by her experiences as an adoptive parent. She completed a Master of Letters degree at the University of Sydney in 2006, before publishing her sophomore novel, Shimmer — based on her mother’s life — in 2009.

In the past decade, Rendall worked as executive producer for Screentime and Endemol Shine, where she produced observational documentary series RBT for Channel 9.

In a statement, Nine head of production Adrian Swift said Rendall’s contribution to RBT “made it the show that it is”.

“We were saddened to learn of the passing of Basia Rendall over the weekend,” he said.

“The warmth, humour and care she brought is a big part of why the audience embraced the show for so many years. We thank her and extend our sincere condolences to her family at this tragic time.”

Endemol Shine Australia director of content Marty Benson also paid tribute to Rendall.

“On behalf of everyone at Endemol Shine Australia we are deeply saddened by Basia Rendall’s passing at the weekend,” he said.

“Basia has been an absolute joy to work with. We send our condolences, love and best wishes to her family”.

Rendall was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2021 and battled her health on two fronts. She had plans for another book and continued working until days before her death.

In its statement, Basia’s family said she would be remembered as “formidable, loyal, luminously intelligent, and funny.”

She is survived by her husband Kimble, and children William and Camille. The family would like to thank the nurses and doctors at St Vincent’s Hospital and Intensive Care Unit.