Dina Akass – the Fleet Street journalist who made her name as a prolific news reporter for the red-tops – has died at the age of 46.
Akass, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 10 years ago, died last week at a nursing home close to her home in north London after her condition deterioriated.
A popular and well-known figure throughout Fleet Street and the world of women’s magazines, Akass began her journalism career at the Fleet Street News Agency.
It was during this time that she met her husband Bill Akass, who at the time worked for the rival National News and is now editorial development director for Sun and News of the World publisher News Group.
In the late Eighties and early Nineties, she was a prolific “shifter” on the newsdesks of the News of the World, Today and the Sunday People. But it was at The Sun where she really made her mark and is best remembered.
After the birth of her eldest son Callum in 1994, she began freelancing for women’s magazines, specialising in case histories. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 and gave birth to her second son Max the following year.
Daily Mirror editor Richard Wallace, who worked with her when he was showbiz editor at The Sun, said: “It is no exaggeration to say she was one of the most good-hearted individuals you could ever care to meet and her sunny disposition and sheer joie de vivre were truly life-affirming.”
Friends and former colleagues have been invited to attend Dina’s funeral at Golders Green crematorium, Hoop Lane, London, NW11 at 4pm on Thursday, May 22.
After the service, mourners have been invited to gather at the Victoria Stakes pub, Park Road in Crouch End. Flowers and cards may be sent to the funeral directors, William Beckett, at 29 Junction Road, Archway, London N19 5QT.
Donations to the MS Society in memory of Dina are welcome: MS Society, MS National Centre, 372 Edgware Road, London NW2 6ND.
A full obituary will appear in next week’s edition of Press Gazette, published 30 May.