Entertainment

Gary Burgess dead: ITV journalist dies aged 46 after cancer battle


ITV journalist Gary Burgess has died peacefully in a hospice at the age of 46.

The journalist and broadcaster had been publicly documenting his long journey with cancer after he received a terminal diagnosis late last year.

Gary passed away on 1 January at Jersey Hospice.

In a final message released by ITV after his death, Gary wrote: “I’ve had the best life. I’ve had the luckiest life. I met my soul mate and the love of my life who went on to become my husband.

“I got to work with some of the most amazing people in newsrooms and studios doing the job I absolutely adore. My greatest sadness is the prospect of leaving all of that and all of them behind.”



ITV journalist Gary Burgess has passed away at the age of 46
ITV journalist Gary Burgess has passed away at the age of 46

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“The thought of doing that to Alan is unfathomable to process, but I also know the very people who’ve shown me love and support will now wrap up those feelings around him in the coming days.

“It’s time for me to hand over my microphone and keyboard for others to do the talking about me, so let my final words simply be ‘thank you’. Every person in my life has, in their own way, helped me live my best life. That’ll do.”

In a post to Facebook, Gary’s husband Alan thanked everyone for their support during Gary’s illness in a heartbreaking message.

“It is with great sadness that I need to announce the death of my wonderful husband Gary on Saturday 1 January. After many years of fighting cancer, Gary died peacefully in his sleep in Jersey Hospice.

“I would like to publicly thank all of the many people and services within Jersey, and also at Southampton General Hospital, who have cared for Gary so well over the last 7 years through all of the different stages of this disease.



Gary is survived by his husband Alan Burgess
Gary is survived by his husband Alan Burgess

“I have to say a special thank you to Jersey Hospice and the Clinical Investigations team from Jersey’s hospital, who together enabled Gary to stay safely and comfortably at home for as long as possible in accordance with his wishes. He was even able to continue making occasional trips to his favourite breakfast spots on the island with his oxygen tank in hand.

“And I also have to say thank you to the many well-wishers, be they friends, family, colleagues, ex-colleagues, viewers, radio listeners, blog readers or complete strangers, who have sent us their love and kind words since Gary received his terminal diagnosis in November 2020. At times we have both found the volume of messages to be almost overwhelming, but we were always thankful for the positivity, warmth and support shown to us both.

“I expect there will be many tributes made to Gary in the coming hours and days and I want to keep my words about him now as simple as I can. Through his career in journalism and broadcasting, Gary would have seen every variation of words describing someone’s strength and bravery, their wit and humour, their kindness and generosity, their stubbornness and determination, their sense of mischief and their joy in life’s simple pleasures.

“So, in an attempt to avoid cliché, I am just going to misquote a line of dialogue from the final episode of The West Wing, being one of Gary’s favourite programmes and something said with love and pride by one spouse to the other. You did a lot of good, Gary. A lot of good.”



Gary became one of ITV's chief reporters following a move to Jersey in 2012
Gary became one of ITV’s chief reporters following a move to Jersey in 2012

Gary was born in Manchester in 1975 but moved with his family to South Africa when he was six years old.

Upon returning to the UK for secondary school, he began his career at Radio Wave in Blackpool in 1992.

After starting out as the teaboy, he went on to become a newsreader, breakfast show presenter and programme controller before leaving nine years later.

Before leaving, he set a world record for the longest radio show by staying on air for 76 hours – raising money to build a new £2.9m cancer unit in Blackpool.

He went on to manage radio stations across England and Scotland, before moving to Guernsey to work at Island FM, where he won national awards for his work.

After a stint at BBC Radio Guernsey, he moved to ITV as a Guernsey reporter. In 2012, he moved to Jersey to become one of the channel’s chief reporters.

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