St Margarets mourns renowned journalist Simon Hoggart

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Terrific journalist: Simon Hoggart Terrific journalist: Simon Hoggart

Guardian journalist and St Margarets resident Simon Hoggart died aged 67 from pancreatic cancer yesterday.

Mr Hoggart, who lived in Sandycoombe Road with his family, wrote sketches for the newspaper, poking fun at well-known political figures, as well as a wine column in the Spectator.

The 67-year-old was also known for his 10-year stint presenting the News Quiz on BBC Radio 4 until 2006.

The Guardian’s editor Alan Rusbridger said: “Simon was a terrific reporter and columnist - and a great parliamentary sketch writer.

“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.”

The terminal illness was diagnosed three-and-a-half years ago and Mr Hoggart died at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

Speaking of his illness in a November blog, he described being sick and off work for a week.

He wrote: “It’s a weird experience being at home, alone for the most part - like being a goldfish in a bowl of treacle, moving slowly and largely pointlessly.

“Much of the time I have felt too ill to read anything, so I watch daytime television - a lot of it is hypnotising.”

His final article was a review of the year which appeared in the Guardian on December 19.

Gwyneth Williams, controller of Radio 4, said Mr Hoggart would be remembered fondly for his role hosting the News Quiz.

She added: “He was hugely popular with our listeners who valued his lively mind, his wit and humour, his love of satire and deep knowledge of politics which helped to turn the show into what it is today.

“He will be sadly missed.”

Mr Hoggart grew up and went to school in Leicester and Hull before joining the Guardian after his time at King’s College, Cambridge.

His sketches earned him fame during the 1970s and resumed the role again in 1993, working for its sister paper the Observer for 12 years.

He is survived by wife Allyson, a clinical psychologist, and his two children, Amy and Richard.

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