Obituary: Dave Price

The former national newspaper and television journalist Dave Price has died aged 59 after a battle with cancer.

Dave started his career on the South Shields Gazette in his home town on Tyneside, before moving to The Journal in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

In 1979, he moved to Manchester to work in the northern office of the Daily Mail, where close friends and colleagues included Richard Kay, the current diary editor at the Mail. After short spells at Robert Maxwell’s London Daily News and Eddy Shah’s The Post, Dave moved into television where he built a successful career.

At Granada TV, he worked as an assistant producer on the award-winning drama-documentary Hillsborough, where his liaison with the victims’ families was crucial to the success of the project.

‘Truly decent”

The project’s producer Ian McBride said this week: ‘Aside from being a truly decent man – generous with time, his talent and wry humour – David was one of a vanishing breed: A gifted journalist who knew right from wrong and fact from fiction, who accomplished it all without affecting airs and graces, and without abusing others. He made a difference. I’m saddened more than I can say.’

Dianne Nelmes, ITV‘s director of Daytime and Lifestyle, recalls David’s support when she was a young graduate trainee journalist on The Journal. ‘Most senior journalists gave young graduates like me a very hard time, David was an exception.

In my first week on The Journal, I was assigned to help David cover the Remembrance Day parade in Newcastle. I didn’t have a clue and he was so patient and kind. He guided me through everything and helped me to write my piece before taking me out and buying me lunch at a local cafe. He was always so supportive, and as time passed, David was always the first to congratulate me if he thought I had written something well.’

‘Empathetic”

For the past few years, Dave had been freelancing and had been developing factual drama ideas for Lime Productions, with his former Mail colleague Helen Scott.

Scott said: ‘David never lost his passion for a good story. He was the perfect person to work with on a drama-doc project, where he could not only handle the intricacies of the story, but also deal with the people involved in a professional and empathetic way.”

Friend and former Mail colleague Andy Russell added: ‘Dave was a great friend for more than 30 years and was best man at my wedding.

‘He was a tenacious and gifted reporter in both newspapers and TV, but most of all he was simply a good person. He was tremendously fit, being a keen runner who continued playing rugby up until the age of 50.

‘It is an awful tragedy that one so energetic and full of life should die far too young. The only small consolation we have is that his last wish was granted – to end his days at his home in the Welsh mountains with his wife Lynn by his side.”

For the last years of his life, Dave and Lynn lived in a mountainside cottage near the village of Beddgelert in Snowdonia, where they were blissfully happy.

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