Lee Halpin was apparently filming a documentary about homelessness in an attempt to get on a Channel 4 journalism course.
He was spending a week sleeping rough when he was found dead in a derelict hostel in Newcastle on Wednesday morning.
“We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of this aspiring young journalist.
"Our thoughts are with his family”
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A benefit cheat from Houghton-le-Spring who claimed over £80,000 which he was not entitled to has been spared jail.