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Ex-Liverpool journalist and Emmerdale boss Gavin Blyth has died

by Tony McConville. Published Sat 27 Nov 2010 15:10, last updated: 02/12/10
Gavin Blyth - tremendously talented
Gavin Blyth - tremendously talented

Former Merseyside journalist Gavin Blyth, who went on to become series producer of the ITV soap Emmerdale, has died at the age of 41 in hospital.

Glowing tributes have been paid to the father-of-three who lost a battle with cancer, diagnosed only a matter of weeks before his death at St James' Hospital, Leeds on Friday night.

Former workmates described him as "tremendously talented" and colleagues at Emmerdale praised the man who took-on the job of overseeing the Yorkshire-based soap in January 2009.

An Emmerdale spokesperson said:"It is with great sadness that we confirm our series producer Gavin Blyth passed away last night after a short illness.

"Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this terrible time. He will be greatly missed by us all."

He leaves behind his wife Suzy and their Carter, aged 1, along with his children Tom, 15, Anya, 11.

Born in Southport, Gavin was raised in the village of Hesketh Bank, Lancashire, the son of the renowned Merseyside broadcaster and freelance journalist Roger Blyth.

He was educated at Tarlton High School and began a career in journalism in 1985 with his father's company, Mercury Press Agency, Liverpool, first earning plaudits as a sports writer and then moving into the fast-changing field of press photography.

He later move to Birmingham where he worked at Caters News Agency and became the editor and manager of its operations, leading its expansion through the 1990s.

His former colleague, Editor of Mercury Press Agency, Chris Johnson paid tribute to Gavin as a "loyal friend and colleague".

Chris Johnson said:"Gavin was a real the block from his father Roger, but he was much more than that.

"He was a tremendously talented man with a unique and entertaining personality.

"He was always fun to be around and though he was quite self-effacing at times he was a real man's man with a deliciously wry sense of humour.

"He also had real empathy for people he encountered and used his innate compassion to great effect, often in difficult and demanding circumstances.

"In his working life he approached each and every task as a true professional and thanks to his disciplined and incisive mind usually achieved what he set out to do.

"It's a cruel and bitter blow to see him taken from us at such a young age. Gavin had accomplished great things in his career to date and I'm certain he could have gone on to reach the very top in the field of TV drama..

"He was not only fantastically hard-working but also a devoted family man.

"My prayers and sympathy go out his family and friends at this tragically untimely death that has robbed us all of a great individual at the height of his powers.

"He was one of those rare individuals who touched many lives for the better and left an indelible mark on the world.

"It is an honour and a privilege to have known him."

It had been after the death of his father Roger, in 1996, that Gavin decided to change the path of his own career.

He entered the world of television and became senior publicist at Emmerdale 2002 going-on to become script editor at the programme.

Gavin was appointed as a story associate on Coronation Street in 2005 and later landed a post as the show's Assistant Producer.

When he returned to Emmerdale as series producer he implemented a major revamp of the rural soap, bringing-back some popular old characters and signing-up a string of new stars Kim Thomson, James Sutton, Suzanne Shaw and Pauline Quirke

The show's Executive Producer Steve November said: "Gavin has made an immense contribution to Emmerdale since taking over as series producer in January 2009 and during many hugely successful years at ITV.

"As a friend and colleague, he will be missed to an incredible amount by us all. It is a very sad day for everyone at Emmerdale. Our thoughts are with Gavin's family and those closest to him at this difficult time."


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"so sad:(!..he did really well with corrie and thoughts are with the cast for there loss nd also his wife nd kids mch lve always remember u x" jessica roberts, bargoed around 4 years, 2 months ago

"so sad news rip gavin,thoughts are wiv his wife and children. " niel atherton, Redditch, West Midlands around 4 years, 2 months ago

"So sad. Worked with Gavin in B'ham in 1990s, and he was energetic, demanding and an influence on all who worked with him. RIP Gavin." Steve Dyson, Birmingham around 4 years, 7 months ago

"Sad sad news, thoughts are with his family and friends " louise, worcester around 4 years, 7 months ago

"such sad news i hope his family will be strong iam sure thats wot he would want such a happy person taken so soon r.i.p xx" kim, peckham around 4 years, 7 months ago

"Absolutely stunned and deeply saddended to learn of Gavin's death at just 41, having worked with him and his dad at Mercury. A terrible loss" Vic Gibson, Cumbria around 4 years, 8 months ago

"Gavin was a great bloke and a joy to work with. A great professional with a great talent. My prayers are with his family. So sadly missed. " Roger Summerskill, Merseyside around 4 years, 8 months ago

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