ITV reporter Gary Burgess died at the age of 46, following a diagnosis of terminal cancer in November 2020.
In a final post, which Burgess wrote for ITV to publish after his death, the reporter said he had lived “the best life” and “the luckiest life”.
Who was Gary Burgess?
Burgess was an ITV reporter, born in Manchester in 1975. At six, Burgess and his family moved to South Africa. He returned to the UK for secondary school and began his career in 1922 in Blackpool on Radio Wave.
It was during his time on Radio Wave that Burgess set a world record for longest radio show after being on the air for 76 hours to raise money for a new cancer unit in Blackpool.
Burgess left the station nine years later after serving as a news anchor, breakfast anchor, and program controller.
He then ran various radio stations in England and Scotland before joining Island FM in Guernsey in 2003. After three years as a breakfast presenter at BBC Radio Guernsey, Burgess joined ITV Channel TV in 2011 as journalist in Guernsey.
In 2012 he moved to Jersey and in 2021 he was named Journalist of the Year at the prestigious Royal Television Society Awards. In August of the same year, Burgess also received the prestigious Silver Seal, awarded by Jersey’s Bailiff, which recognizes his contributions to journalism during his career.
Karen Rankine, News Manager at ITV Channel TV, described Burgess as having “a huge heart” and an “inspiring role model”.
She said: âHer journalism has had a huge impact across the Channel Islands.
“He leaves a lasting legacy, not only through the stories he has told, the people he touched and the friendships he has built, but to many journalists he has been an inspiring role model and mentor. that has helped shape so many careers. “
Was he married?
Burgess married longtime partner Alan in 2018, and the two became the first same-sex couple in Jersy to convert their civil partnership into marriage after the island legalized same-sex marriage later in the year.
Their marriage certificate is number one on the conversion register.
Writing about the legalization of same-sex marriage in Jersey, Burgess wrote in a article for ITV: “How will same-sex marriages affect those who oppose the idea? Answer: they will not. They will always be free to hate the idea.
“The difference is that I will now be free to marry the man I love.”
What did Gary Burgess say about his diagnosis?
In 1999, Burgess was first diagnosed with testicular cancer, which at the time had been successfully treated with surgery and chemotherapy.
Over the years, Burgess received other treatments after relapses and, in November 2020, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, with a life expectancy of six to 12 months.
Burgess shared a blog post in which he discussed his diagnosis, writing that “hearing that you are going to die is strange”.
He wrote: âIt’s a strange, otherworldly experience to think that there will be maybe just one more anniversary, one more Christmas, one more wedding anniversary.
âI was immediately overwhelmed by the most overwhelming sea of ââguilt that my husband was probably going to be home alone without me. Our vacation. Our watching TV on the couch. Our weekend breakfasts on the bed. west coast. I won’t be there to laugh, harass or snuggle up in his lap.
He ended the message by writing, âI am not dying. I live. It’s just that I have less to do, so it’s my obligation to make it count more.
When did he die?
Burgess passed away on New Years Day, Saturday, January 1, 2022.
Burgess’ husband Alan released a statement via ITV announcing the news of his death.
In the statement, Alan said: âIt is with great sadness that I must announce the passing of my wonderful husband Gary on Saturday January 1st.
“After many years of battling cancer, Gary passed away peacefully in his sleep at Jersey Hospice.”
In his statement, Alan thanked “all of the many people and services in Jersey, as well as at Southampton General Hospital, who have looked after Gary so well over the past seven years through all the different stages of this disease” .
He also thanked the Jersey Hospice and the Jersey Hospital Clinical Investigation team, “who together made it possible for Gary to stay in his home safely and comfortably for as long as possible in accordance with his wishes.”
Concluding his statement, Alan said: âIn an attempt to avoid the clichÃ©s, I’m just going to quote a line of dialogue from the final episode of West wing, being one of Gary’s favorite shows and something said with love and pride by one spouse to another.
âYou’ve done a lot of good, Gary. Much good.
Burgess also wrote a final post, written for ITV to be published after his death, in which he said he had had “the best life” and “the luckiest life”.
He wrote: âI met my soul mate and the love of my life who became my husband.
âI got to work with some of the most amazing people in newsrooms and studios, doing the job that I absolutely love.
âI 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 fully understand.
âMy greatest sorrow is the prospect of leaving all of this and everyone behind.
âThe idea of ââdoing 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 next few days.
âIt’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’.
âEach person in my life has, in their own way, helped me live my best life. That should do.”
Tribute to Gary Burgess
Following the news of his death, many began to share tributes online for the reporter.
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