Sky News veteran Bob Friend dies

Veteran TV newsreader Bob Friend has died of cancer at the age of 70.

Friend was one of the first faces to be seen on Sky News when the satellite TV channel launched in 1989. He received an MBE for services to broadcasting in 2003 – and retired later that year.

News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch said: “Bob was a distinguished journalist and an admired broadcaster who was quick to understand the power of non-stop news programming.

“He was there from the beginning of that long hard road we had to travel to make Sky News what it is today. Bob was a tireless worker, and true to from, he put up a good fight.”

Friend’s broadcasting career started on BBC Radio 4 in 1969, with postings to Northern Ireland and Vietnam. He later became the BBC’s first Australia correspondent in 1973.

Head of Sky News John Ryley said: “Bob was Bob – what you saw off-screen was what you got on-screen. He was a very humble guy and he had no airs and graces.”

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