Tyne Tees personality Andrew Friend dies

The former presenter and television executive has died aged 54.

“I very fondly remember Andrew’s intellect, wit, warm personality, generosity of spirit, and ability to bring out the best in everyone. He was also a brilliant mentor to so many people at the start of their careers. Most of all, he was a very dear friend. We lived through some of the happiest times at Tyne Tees Television together. We will miss him so much.” – Pam Royle co-presenter, Tyne Tees Today, speaking to ITV

Andrew joined Tyne Tees Television, then based at City Road in Newcastle in the early 1990s as a reporter on Northern Life. He later became the main host of news shows Network North (for Tyne Tees across North Yorkshire and Teesside) and Tyne Tees Today (for Tyneside, Wearside and Northumberland) co-presenting alongside regulars such as Dawn Thewlis and Pam Royle. Andrew was one of a number of regular male co-anchors for the evening news shows with others including Andy Kluz and Stuart McNeil all alternating.

Other programming followed including the weekly Tyne Tees Newsweek which recapped the seven days of news signed and subtitled and magazine series Tyne Tees Weekend on Sunday early evenings. When Mike Neville switched from BBC North to the North East ITV rival in 1996 Andrew and Pam continued to co-host parts of the newly launched North East Tonight alongside Mike for a couple of years before Friend moved behind the camera as a news executive.

Andrew Friend joined TTTV in the 1990s, becoming one of the popular news faces for several years.

Andrew Friend on the set of news show Tyne Tees Today in 1994.

“A tribute on tonight’s news to a very good pal I met 34 years ago. Andrew Friend died this week after a protracted illness, during which he battled every step of the way. He was 54 and spent many happy years working at Tyne Tees.” – Radio 2 and Channel 5 presenter Jeremy Vine

In 2005 Andrew was tasked with moving the re-branded ITV Tyne Tees from its home, since launch in 1959, in Newcastle over the river Tyne to Gateshead and their new complex. A documentary, The Big Move, was partly presented by Andrew as he documented the transition of a TV station from its City Road base to The Watermark studios.

After departing ITV in the late 2000s Andrew relocated to work in television in Australia, however, a big supporter of local television he returned to the North East as Head of News for Made in Tyne and Wear, a micro-regional service for Tyneside and Wearside.

“He was an absolute pleasure to work with, very, very quick-witted, lovely warm infectious sense of humour with a great ability to work with the team and keep everybody on side.” – Graeme Thompson, Tyne Tees’ former managing director speaking to ITV News Tyne Tees

The ITV News Tyne Tees report can be seen below.

TTTV 22.11.2018 (1) from Kerry Plummer on Vimeo.

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