In a sad announcement, the BBC has shared the heartbreaking death of newsreader George Alagiah at the age of 67.
The Sri Lanka-born journalist was best known for his role as the face of BBC One’s News At Six since 2007.
Alagiah was also a highly respected and talented journalist known for his fearless reporting as a foreign correspondent.
He leaves behind a lasting legacy in the world of journalism and tributes have been pouring in since the announcement was made.
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Alagiah had been battling stage four bowel cancer since his diagnosis in 2014.
Despite enduring two rounds of chemotherapy and several operations, including the removal of most of his liver, the newsreader remained a resilient fighter until the very end.
His agent, Mary Greenham, expressed her sorrow, revealing that Alagiah passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family.
Greenham stated (via BBC): “I am so terribly sorry to inform you that George Alagiah died peacefully today, surrounded by his family and loved ones.
“George fought until the bitter end but sadly that battle ended earlier today.
“George was deeply loved by everybody who knew him, whether it was a friend, a colleague or a member of the public. He simply was a wonderful human being.
“My thoughts are with Fran, the boys and his wider family.”
BBC director-general Tim Davie paid tribute to the late journalist, praising him as one of the best and bravest of his generation.
He said: “George was one of the best and bravest journalists of his generation who reported fearlessly from across the world as well as presenting the news flawlessly.
“He was more than just an outstanding journalist, audiences could sense his kindness, empathy and wonderful humanity. He was loved by all and we will miss him enormously.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also expressed his grief over the passing of the much-loved face of BBC News.
He wrote on Twitter: “Deeply saddened by the news of George Alagiah’s passing.
“A much-loved face of BBC News for decades, George will also be remembered for his brilliant, fearless journalism as foreign correspondent.
“He rightly won awards for his evocative, boundary-pushing reporting.
“British journalism has lost a talent. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”
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John Simpson, the BBC’s world affairs editor, said: “Deeply, deeply sorry to hear about dear George Alagiah.
“A gentler, kinder, more insightful and braver friend and colleague it would be hard to find.
“I loved having his company in the BBC World Affairs Unit, and his progress after that was a pleasure to watch.”
While Jon Sopel, former North America editor of BBC News and podcast host, emphasised not only Alagiah’s journalistic prowess but also his character.
He said: “Tributes will rightly be paid to a fantastic journalist and brilliant broadcaster – but George was the most decent, principled, kindest, most honourable man I have ever worked with. What a loss.”
Deeply saddened by the news of George Alagiah’s passing.
A much-loved face of BBC News for decades, George will also be remembered for his brilliant, fearless journalism as foreign correspondent. He rightly won awards for his evocative, boundary pushing reporting. British…
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) July 24, 2023
Sky News presenter Mark Austin added: “This breaks my heart. A good man, a rival on the foreign correspondent beat but above all a friend.
“If good journalism is about empathy, and it often is, George Alagiah had it in spades. He understood injustice and the power of good reporting to highlight it, if not correct it.”
Alagiah shared two children with his wife, Frances Robathan.
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