BBC newsreader George Alagiah shared his one dying wish for wife Frances
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BBC newsreader George Alagiah shared his one dying wish for wife Frances Robathan.
Alagiah was diagnosed with advanced stage four bowel cancer, which had spread to his liver and lymph nodes back in April 2014, but the fight against the illness ended this afternoon.
The news was confirmed in a statement from his agent, Mary Greenham.
"I am so terribly sorry to inform you that George Alagiah died peacefully today, surrounded by his family and loved ones," the statement began.
"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."
Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph in September of last year, the BBC presenter opened up about his illness, how it impacted his various presenting duties and the worry of leaving behind his wife and two sons, Adam, 21, and Matt, 17.
Alagiah, who worked for BBC News for over 20 years, told the outlet how the idea of not being with Frances, who he married in 1984, 'until the end' haunted him.
He said: "One of the things I want to do is hold hands with my wife until the end, and am I going to be able to do that? It haunts me. Not every day.
"I’m not too scared for myself, but I'm here on the third floor of our house, and I am looking out of the window at Frances setting out the tablecloth on our garden table, and it occurs to me, is she going to have to do that for herself one day, and eat on her own?"
Alagiah leaves behind an array of accolades, testifying to his four-decade-spanning career. Alagiah was made an OBE in the New Year Honours list for services to journalism in 2008 as well as interviewing such figures including Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.