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AA Gill dies of cancer aged 62

10 December 2016 by
AA Gill dies of cancer aged 62

AA Gill, the restaurant critic for The Sunday Times, has died aged 62.

His death comes less than a month after he revealed that he was seriously ill with cancer.

In his restaurant column three weeks ago, the critic revealed that he was suffering with an "embarrassment of cancer".

He continued: "There is barely a morsel of offal that is not included. I have a trucker's gut-buster, gimpy, malevolent, meaty malignancy."

A dyslexic who dictated his copy, Gill had studied art at the Central Saint Martins College of Art of Design and the Slade School of Fine Art before becoming a restaurant reviewer.

He also suffered from alcoholism for a period of time until, at the age of 30, he stopped drinking, having been told by doctors he would be dead by Christmas if he did not. He wrote about his addiction in a memoir, Pour Me: A Life, published last year.

Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens told staff at the paper in a memo: "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."

Formby, referred to in reviews as "the Blonde", was Gill's partner of almost 25 years. In the early 1990s he had been married for five years to current home secretary Amber Rudd, the mother of his daughter Flora and son Alasdair.

Jay Rayner, food critic at The Observer, said: "There were two Adrian Gills: the one you met on the page and the one you met in person. On the page he could be scabrous, virulent, an intense controversialist, and sometimes willfully so. But he was brilliant at it.

"I tried not to read him because Gill, at his best, could make the rest of us feel like rank amateurs. He had been a restaurant cook and knew his subject inside out. He loved restaurants and wrote about them with a fierce engaging passion. In person, however, he was a sweet, kind and extremely charming man; one whose company others craved because a room with him in it was always more interesting."

Many other public figures took to Twitter to express their condolences following news of Gill's death:

"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."
Jay Rayner

"Sad AA gill died. He was horribly critical of me and I was furious. But good old fashioned signed journalism. Wish I'd been able to shake hands."
Mary Beard

"Devastated to learn my good friend + superb colleague AA Gill has died of cancer. Only just told us he had it. Cruel and sad."
Andrew Neil

"‘Spinach is the Kate Moss of vegetables. Goes with everything, boils down to nothing.' Sleep well, AA Gill."
Malachy Clerkin

"I never met AA Gill, and cursed his name often; but he was funny, clever, honest, and wrote terrific sentences. I will miss him very much."
Hugh Laurie

"AA Gill in June arguing for Britain to remain in the EU was probably his last great column."
Julian Druker

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