BRYAN Magee brought philosophy into the living rooms of homes across the country.

The broadcaster, who has died aged 89, won a Royal Television Society award for his BBC series, Men of Ideas, where he interviewed well-known philosophers about their work.

He was a high-achiever in several other walks of life, becoming president of the Oxford Union, a successful author and a Labour MP.

Bryan Magee was born on April 12, 1930, in Hoxton, east London.

The youngster grew up in a flat above the family clothes shop, living with his father Fred, mother Sheila and sharing a bed with his elder sister, Joan.

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He was evacuated to Market Harborough, Leicestershire, during the Second World War and returned to find much of Hoxton destroyed by German bombs.

Bryan won a scholarship to Christ's Hospital, Sussex, and left school to do his national service with the Intelligence Corps.

He was tasked with looking for spies among refugees crossing the Yugoslav-Austrian border in the late-1940s.

In 1949, Mr Magee began a history degree at Oxford University's Keble College, before completing a philosophy, politics and economics course and later becoming an honorary fellow.

At Oxford, he published the first of his 23 books, Crucifixion and Other Poems, and became president of the Oxford Union in 1953.

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Several of his peers also became well-known public figures, including former Times editor, William Rees-Mogg, ex-Liberal Party leader, Jeremy Thorpe, and former deputy Prime Minister, Michael Heseltine.

Mr Magee then took up a teaching post in Sweden and met Ingrid Söderlund. The pair married and had a daughter, Gunnela.

Returning to Oxford, Mr Magee began a doctorate in philosophy that he never completed and taught philosophy at Balliol College.

In the early 1970s, he got to know Isaiah Berlin, who was one of his interviewees on Men of Ideas, while he presented ITV current affairs programme, This Week.

The former was a 15-part series and was followed by his BBC2 series, The Great Philosophers.

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Mr Magee had a long-held ambition to become a Labour MP, representing Leyton, London, from 1974 - 15 years after he first stood unsuccessfully in Mid Bedfordshire.

He retained his seat for nine years, but resigned in 1983 and was one of nearly 30 MPs to stand for the Social Democratic Party in the 1983 election, losing his seat.

Mr Magee had links to several Oxford colleges for more than 50 years, but first came to Wolfson as a visiting scholar in 1991 on the recommendation of Mr Berlin.

He became a visiting fellow for a year in 1993 and a permanent member of the common room one year later.

Mr Magee had never lived permanently in Oxford, but bought a flat in Bardwell Road, north Oxford, in 2000.

He lived alone, but was a familiar face at Wolfson, even when he moved again to Banbury Road.

For his final years, Mr Magee lived in St Luke's Hospital, Headington, and died on Friday, July 26. He is survived by his daughter.

Mr Magee's funeral will be held at 11am today at St Andrew's Church, Headington.