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  1. ITV Report

Gordon Honeycombe: Former ITN newscaster dies, aged 79

Gordon Honeycombe was presenter of ITN's Early Evening and Weekend News.

Former ITN newscaster Gordon Honeycombe has died aged 79 in Australia, his family has said.

Honeycombe, who was also a playwright and novelist, worked for ITN between 1965 and 1977, and read the Early Evening and Weekend News.

He then went on to concentrate on his writing for television, radio and theatre, before returning to news as chief newsreader at TV-am from 1984 to 1989.

In recent years he had been living in Perth, Western Australia, where he had continued writing and voice-over work.

The news anchor, who was battling leukemia before his death, had recently been in a palliative care unit in Perth.

Honeycombe presented for ITN during the 1960s and 1970s. Credit: ITN

Explaining that he would not be able to attend ITN's recent 60th anniversary celebrations due to his illness, he wrote a letter stating that he was in a "room with a view of the Swan River, on another brilliantly sunny day".

In the letter, he wrote of his fond memories as a presenter and recalled reporting on a number of major stories, including the 1969 moon landing.

He added: "Every News was like a First Night to me, and after it there were no recriminations.

"We had all done our best. It was exciting, and we had fun."

Honeycombe briefly came back to ITN in 2005, joining Mary Nightingale to co-present a special edition of ITV's Evening News, celebrating 50 years since the channel's first broadcast.

Nightingale and fellow ITV News presenter Alastair Stewart paid tributes to Honeycombe on Twitter after news of his death.

ITN Chief Executive John Hardie added: “Tonight ITN mourns the passing of one of the UK's most distinguished and revered broadcasters. Gordon Honeycombe, RIP.”