Tuesday 12 December 2017

Restaurant critic AA Gill (62) dies after short battle with cancer

AA Gill and Nicola Formby
AA Gill and Nicola Formby

Restaurant critic AA Gill has died after a short battle with cancer, it has been announced. He was 62.

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.

In a nod to his career as a food writer, Gill referred to his diagnosis as a "full English" of cancers.

His death was confirmed by the Sunday Times, for whom he was a long-standing columnist.

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.

In his memo to staff, Mr Ivens said: "It is with profound sadness that I must tell you that our much-loved colleague Adrian Gill died this morning.

"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.

"I know you will want to join me in sending condolences to Nicola Formby and his children."

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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