BBC presenter Sophie Raworth shares George Alagiah’s last wish before his death in emotional tribute
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BBC presenter Sophie Raworth has shared George Alagiah’s last wish before his death in what was an emotional tribute.
Alagiah sadly passed away at the age of 67, his agent announced on Monday (24 July).
He was diagnosed with stage four (advanced) bowel cancer - which had spread to his liver and lymph nodes - in April 2014.
The OBE-credited journalist worked for BBC News for over 20 years and was popular with viewers.
A statement from his agent read: "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.
During yesterday’s BBC News at Six, Alagiah's former BBC co-presenter Raworth, 55, revealed his last message to viewers.
Of his wish, she said: "I saw him just a few weeks ago. He told me he had hoped to come back to work one last time to say thank you and goodbye, right here, live on air in the studio.
"He didn't get the chance, so we have done it for him. I will leave you now with George Alagiah in his own words."
In an emotional tribute, Raworth also recalled: "20 years ago George and I launched the new Six O' Clock News together back in January 2003.
"He was a foreign correspondent at heart, that was his passion, but he felt enormously proud and privileged to be presenting the BBC's evening news and he loved it."
She continued: "He loved being in the newsroom being part of the team, and he made a good cup of tea as well. We all adored him, he felt a real connection with the audience too.
"After he was diagnosed with cancer just over nine years ago, he received thousands of letters and messages from people who wrote to him as it they knew each other, strangers who spoke to him as a friend. He was really touched by your support.
"George was a man of great values and indomitable spirit, a big smile, a velvety laugh, a great friend."
In June 2020, Alagiah told the Times: “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.”