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Writer AA Gill dies of cancer aged 62

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Joe Ellison
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The author, journalist and esteemed restaurant critic AA Gill has died at 62, following a brief battle with cancer.

Addressing his condition in The Sunday Times last month, Gill informed readers that he had “an embarrassment of cancer, the full English.

“There is barely a morsel of offal not included. I have a trucker's gut-buster, gimpy, malevolent, meaty malignancy,” he added, never shifting from the unabashed, wry style which endeared him to so many during a colourful career.

Doctors found that a smoking-related cancer had spread to his lungs (despite giving up 15 years earlier), and stoic to the end, the writer revealed he was undertaking a course of chemotherapy to battle the illness - though few could have foreseen how swift its ultimate effect would be.

Gill leaves behind four children, including two with Nicola Formby, his partner of 23 years, who he’d recently become officially engaged to following his recent diagnosis (the headline three weeks ago had read: I'm elated to get married - oh, and I'm ill).

Reacting to his passing, The Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens described Gill as "the heart and soul of the paper" and "a giant among journalists", while other friends and contemporaries took to social media to share their condolences.

Born in 1954 to a TV producer, Michael Gill, and actress, Yvonne Gilan, Adrian Anthony Gill was raised in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, where he eventually caught the artistic bug himself, moving to London to study at Central Saint Martins and the Slade School of Art. 

Once graduated, it took him six years to realise painting wasn’t for him, opting to work in the restaurant industry for several years before starting a journalistic career in his thirties. 

“Writing art reviews for little magazines”, his true calling was found and it was in the Nineties - a decade which he found himself married to Home Secretary Amber Rudd for a time, and also battled with alcoholism – when his acerbic wit and alluring prose helped elevate him to a household name. 

From broadsheet columns to travel books to culinary critique, the man was unmatched and leaves us a literary legacy for the ages.

Rest in Peace, AA.

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Joe Ellison

Joe is a writer and editor. Specialising in film, food, sport, current affairs, travel writing and adept at pilfering David Brent quotes, Joe describes himself as ‘basically a chilled out entertainer’. Follow Joe on Twitter: @Chevychased 

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