Restaurant critic AA Gill dies aged 62 three weeks after revealing cancer diagnosis

AA Gill with his fiancee Nicola Formby, his partner of nearly 25 years. Credit: PA

Sunday Times restaurant critic AA Gill has died at the age of 62, three weeks after revealing he had cancer.

The writer revealed his illness in an interview in November - diagnosed only recently after his family became concerned about his rapid weight loss.

Gill said he had no regrets about his diagnosis, adding that it prompted his proposal to Nicola Formby, his partner of nearly 25 years.

Following Gill's death on Saturday morning, Sunday Times editor, Martin Ivens, paid tribute to the "giant among journalists".

Ivens sent a memo to staff announcing the news: "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."

Gill - known to some by his first name Adrian - will have his final column published in Sunday's newspaper.

In a Sunday Times article published in November, Gill revealed he had been diagnosed with the "full English" of cancers and described the illness as "meaty malignancy".

The father-of-four said: "I've got an embarrassment of cancer, the full English.

"There is barely a morsel of offal that is not included.

"I have a trucker's gut-buster, gimpy, malevolent, meaty malignancy."

AA Gill in 2004 with the Most Stylish award presented by Trinny and Susannah during the GQ Men of the Year Awards. Credit: PA

Gill - who was married to Home Secretary Amber Rudd during the 1990s - added that the disease had spread to several parts of his body, restricting his ability to exercise and travel during treatment.

He continued: The columnist added: "I realise I don't have a bucket list; I don't feel I've been cheated of anything.

"I'd like to have gone to Timbuktu, and there are places I will be sorry not to see again.

"But actually, because of the nature of my life and the nature of what happened to me in my early life - my addiction, I know I have been very lucky.

"I gave up [alcohol] when I was still quite young, so it was like being offered the next life. It was the real Willy Wonka golden ticket, I got a really good deal.

"And at the last minute I found something I could do. Somebody said: why don't you watch television, eat good food and travel and then write about it? And, as lives go, that's pretty good."

Gill leaves nine-year-old twins, Isaac (also known as Beetle) and Edith, with Ms Formby, and two grown-up children from his marriage to Amber Rudd, now the Home Secretary.

Journalists and colleagues paid moving tributes to Gill, with Financial Times editor Lionel Barber hailing him as the "king of irreverent critics".

Jay Rayner, The Observer's restaurant critic described Gill as "a kind man and a brilliant writer".

Tim Shipman, political editor of The Sunday Times, described Gill as "the best of us for 30 years".

Journalist and former editor of The Sunday Times called Gill "superb".