Journalist Gary Burgess has died aged 46
ITV reporter Gary Burgess died peacefully in Jersey Hospice yesterday afternoon (January 1) after a long documented journey with cancer.
He had received a terminal diagnosis last year, after doctors said the tumors found on his lungs were inoperable.
In a final post, written for publication after his death, Gary wrote:
“I had the best life. I had the luckiest life. I met my soul mate and the love of my life who became my husband. I got to work with some of the most people. amazing in the newsrooms and studios that do the work I love. And I was able to share my relatively short time on this planet surrounded by friends and loved ones who have enriched my life in ways they may never really understand.
My greatest sorrow is the prospect of leaving all of this and everyone behind. The idea of doing this to Alan is unfathomable to deal with, but I also know that the very people who have shown me love and support will now wrap up those feelings around him in the coming days. It’s time for me to hand my microphone and keyboard over to others to talk about me, when my last words are just “thank you”. Each person in my life has, in their own way, helped me live my best life. That should do.”
Politicians from across the Channel Islands have paid tribute to Gary, who has also worked for Island FM, BBC Guernsey, Channel 103 and the Jersey Evening Post throughout his long career.
Born in Manchester in November 1975, Gary and his family moved to South Africa when he was just six years old.
Friends say witnessing the institutionalized inequality of apartheid at such a young age may have cemented his desire to challenge the status quo and stand up for those who could not defend themselves.After returning to the UK for high school, Gary landed his first job with Radio Wave in Blackpool in 1992.
First a tea boy, he left nine years later having served as a news anchor, breakfast host and program controller.
During his stay he set a world record for longest radio show – staying on the air for 76 hours to raise funds to build a new £ 2.9million cancer unit in Blackpool.He then ran radio stations across England and Scotland before coming to Guernsey to Island FM in 2003, where he won national awards for the station’s production and commercial success.
His colleagues remember his immediate affection for the island.
Three years as a breakfast presenter at BBC Radio Guernsey followed, before Gary moved to ITV Channel TV in 2011 as a reporter from Guernsey.
He moved to Jersey in 2012. As the Channel’s chief reporter, Gary has covered everything from the most technical political feuds to the sensitivities of the Jersey Care Inquiry.
In 2021 he was named journalist of the year at the prestigious Royal Television Awards.
Karen Rankine, News Manager at ITV Channel TV, described Gary as an extraordinarily talented and passionate journalist and host.
Adding: “As colleagues and friends we will miss this remarkable man who has inspired so many of us in so many ways and our thoughts and prayers are with Gary’s husband, Alan and his family.”
A diagnosis of testicular cancer in 1999 was successfully treated with surgery and chemotherapy but, very unusually, relapsed in 2014 and 2016 after spreading to Gary’s lungs.
The surgery was successful, but another relapse and lifesaving chemotherapy in November 2019 were unsuccessful, hence Gary’s possible retirement from ITV in August 2021.
Gary and her husband Alan, who met in 2014, entered into their civil partnership in March 2018 and were first to convert to marriage when the law changed in July of the same year. Their marriage certificate is number one on the conversion register.He has a brother who lives in Madrid with his wife and two children. Gary’s father lives in North Wales.