Guardian journalist Simon Hoggart and ‘third man’ in David Blunkett affair dies aged 67

Guardian and Observer journalist Simon Hoggart has died aged 67. Picture: Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Guardian and Observer journalist Simon Hoggart has died aged 67. Picture: Ian Waldie/Getty Images

2004 Getty Images

Guardian journalist Simon Hoggart, described by the paper as one its ‘wittiest and most distinctive writers’, has died from pancreatic cancer.

The 67-year-old, who had been with the newspaper for more than four decades, was also a wine columnist for the Spectator, and presented the News Quiz on radio 4 for many years.

But he will also be remembered as the ‘third man’ in the affair with publisher Kimberly Quinn which brought down the career of politician David Blunkett in 2004.

Originally from Lancashire, his chance of a promising tennis career was cut short by a serious of injuries.

He instead opted for journalism, joining the Guardian in 1968 straight from university, later becoming the American correspondent for the Observer.

An obituary in the Guardian said of Hoggart: “Though a resourceful news reporter and feature writer with an eye for telling detail and a vivid turn of phrase, he found his most comfortable niche as a humorous, usually acerbic columnist.”

He was diagnosed with the disease several years ago, and continued to write for the newspaper until last month, when complications arose.

The Guardian said he was able to go home and see his family in west London on Christmas Day, he returned to the Royal Marsden hospital, where he died yesterday afternoon.

Its editor, Alan Rusbridger, said: “He wrote with mischief and a sometimes acid eye about the theatre of politics. But he wrote from a position of sophisticated knowledge and respect for parliament.

“A daily reading of his sketch told you things about the workings of Westminster which no news story could ever convey. He will be much missed by readers and his colleagues.”

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