Kenneth Trew was born in Newport, South Wales and attended Newport College of Art. He left college and worked in repertory theatre as a set designer before moving to London. He joined The Festival Ballet for six months, which included a tour to Barcelona and Lisbon. It was during this tour that he applied to become a Costume Designer at the BBC. He joined the corporation in 1964 as a dresser and at the end of 1965 became an Assistant Designer working on such productions as Z Cars.
His first involvement with Doctor Who was on The Myth Makers (1965) with William Hartnell, which was recorded at Riverside Studios. He assisted Designer Bobi Bartlett on the Patrick Troughton, Cyberman story The Invasion (1968).
Trew designed the opening story of Jon Pertwee’s second season, Terror of the Autons (1971) introducing a more colourful version of Pertwee’s costume originally designed by Christine Rawlins.
Producer John Nathan-Turner used Trew regularly in the 1980s for the Peter Davison story Snakedance (1983) and the first part of Trial of A Time Lord – The Mysterious Planet (1986) with Colin Baker. He established the look of The Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy for Time and the Rani (1987), and then worked on Remembrance of the Daleks (1988), The Curse of Fenric (1989), Ghost Light (1989) and Survival (1989). He was also the designer for the Children in Need Special Dimensions in Time (1993).
Other design work included A Very Peculiar Practice, Bergerac, The Prisoner of Zenda, Strangers and Brothers, The Onedin Line and Anna Karenina.
The designer died on 11th January of Sporadic CJD, a very rare condition affecting only 1-2 in every million people each year in the UK.
Pam Trew, Ken’s wife said, I always knew that Ken was one in a million!
Obituary by Grahame Flynn