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AA Gill dead at 62: Restaurant critic passes away from cancer

AA Gill, journalist and restaurant critic for The Sunday Times, has died of cancer aged 62.

He died on Saturday morning. Friends and colleagues on the newspaper were informed of his death by editor Martin Ivens, who described the celebrated critic - known to some by his first name Adrian - as "a giant among journalists".

His final column will be featured in tomorrow's edition.

Revealing his illness in an interview last month - diagnosed only recently after family concerns about his rapid weight loss - the writer said it prompted his successful proposal to Nicola Formby, his partner of nearly a quarter of a century.

The columnist had told the newspaper that he had been diagnosed with the "full English" of cancers.

In a message to readers Mr Ivens wrote: "Adrian was stoical about his illness, but the suddenness of his death has shocked us all. Characteristically he has had the last word, writing an outstanding article about coming to terms with his cancer in tomorrow’s Sunday Times Magazine."

"He was the heart and soul of the paper. His wit was incomparable, his writing was dazzling and fearless, his intelligence was matched by compassion. Adrian was a giant among journalists. He was also our friend. We will miss him."

Tim Shipman, political editor of the Sunday Times, wrote on Twitter: “AA Gill, the writer who first made me buy the Sunday Times, the best of us for thirty years has died. Very sombre mood in the office.

“If you loved AA Gill’s writing, he has one final, blisteringly brilliant cover story in tomorrow’s ST magazine. Be dazzled one last time.”

Reacting to the news of Gill’s death, Joris Minne, a fellow food critic at the Belfast Telegraph, said: "AA Gill was an inspirational writer. Nobody came close to his mastery of the language nor did anyone have quite the same courage.

"I remember him writing a scathing review about his friend's restaurant because it was more important for him to be truthful than loyal."

Journalists and colleagues also paid moving tributes to Gill, with Financial Times editor Lionel Barber hailing him as the "king of irreverent critics".

Jay Rayner, The Observer's restaurant critic, wrote on Twitter: "So sorry to hear about the death of AA Gill. He was a controversialist, sometimes outrageously so, but a kind man and a brilliant writer," while Tim Shipman, political editor of the Sunday Times, said: "AA Gill, the writer who first made me buy the Sunday Times, the best of us for 30 years, has died. Very sombre mood in the office."

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