BBC newsreader George Alagiah has died after bowel cancer diagnosis
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BBC newsreader George Alagiah OBE has died at the age of 67.
A statement from his agent reads: "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."
A statement from BBC director-general Tim Davie said: “Across the BBC, we are all incredibly sad to hear the news about George. We are thinking of his family at this time.
“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.”
In June 2020, Alagiah told the Times newspaper: “My doctors have never used the word ‘chronic’ or ‘cure’ about my cancer.
“They’ve never used the word ‘terminal’ either. I’ve always said to my oncologist, ‘Tell me when I need to sort my affairs out’, and he’s not told me that, but what he did tell me is that the cancer is now in a third organ. It is in my lungs.”
Alagiah worked for BBC News for over 20 years and remained popular with viewers.
Born in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo in 1955, the city was still considered part of the former British territory of Ceylon.
In 2004, when the Asian tsunami took place, Alagiah returned to the country to find that his grandfather’s former home had been destroyed in the natural disaster.
After first presenting BBC Four News in 2002 he went on to co-anchor the corporations 6pm news bulletin, first alongside Sophie Raworth and then Natasha Kaplinsky.
From 2007 Alagiah was the programme's sole presenter while he was also a relief presenter for BBC News at Ten.
He interviewed several world leaders including Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
In 2008, Alagiah was made an OBE in the New Year Honours list for services to journalism.
He is survived by his wife, Frances Robathan, and two children.