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Journalist and filmmaker John Pilger dies aged 84

John Pilger in a Central TV promo shot from 1994 documentary 'Flying the Flag: Arming the World'

ITV

Journalist and filmmaker John Pilger dies aged 84

The journalist hosted his own documentary strand for ATV in the seventies as well as reporting for Granada’s influential World in Action series.

John Pilger’s family announced earlier today that the campaigning Australian journalist and filmmaker died yesterday (December 30) aged 84.

It is with great sadness the family of John Pilger announce he died yesterday 30 December 2023 in London aged 84. His journalism and documentaries were celebrated around the world, but to his family, he was simply the most amazing and loved Dad, Grandad and partner. Rest In Peace. Family Statement

Pilger was born in Bondi, New South Wales in 1939. He launched his first newspaper at Sydney High School and later completed a four-year cadetship with Australian Consolidated Press. John had been based in the UK for over sixty years, and it is for British print and television he is best known. He worked across his career for the Reuters News Agency, ATV, Central Television, Granada TV and the Daily Mirror. Working as a foreign correspondent he covered the Vietnam War and Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, becoming a much respected journalist.

John Pilger, Return to Year Zero / Central TV

In 1970 he left the Daily Mirror and joined investigative series World In Action at Granada Television. By 1973 he was also filing reports for the forerunner to Newsnight, Midweek for BBC Two. Impressed by his work Head of Factual at ATV, Charles Denton, in 1974 offered John his own documentary series, simply titled Pilger. This began a long association of documentary-making for ITV. His four-year investigation on behalf of a group of children damaged at birth by the drug Thalidomide, and left out of the settlement with the drugs company, resulted in a special settlement. A large majority of his television work has been released on DVD.

He has won an Academy Award, an Emmy, and a British Academy Award, a BAFTA and a Royal Television Society Best Documentary gong.

Tributes have been paid across social media with former GMTV journalist and host Eamonn Holmes noting A Tall man but a Taller one in Journalism, Talk TV anchor Piers Morgan added, a brilliant firebrand journalist and ferocious holder of the powerful to proper account. and Granada Reports presenter Lucy Meacock said on his work with World In Action, The man who inspired me to be a journalist.”

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