Death of “finest journalist”

Journalist Ian Bell
Journalist Ian Bell

The world of journalism is mourning the loss of one of its finest - Herald columnist Ian Bell who died after taking ill at home in Coldingham.

Mr Bell, 59, spent the last part of his life at Coldingham where he took ill on ­Thursday morning, dying later in hospital.

Following the death of his father, his son Sean wrote: “Our family has lost a husband, a father and a son and Scotland has lost its finest journalist. He set a standard none shall ever reach again yet he inspired us to never stop trying.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to Mr Bell tweeting: “This is devastating news. Ian Bell was one of Scotland’s finest writers and a man of deep intellect and principle.

“He will be so sadly missed. My thoughts are with his family.”

BBC presenter Andrew Marr said Scotland had lost “her finest journalist”. “A kind friend and a wise mentor I never listened to enough… devastated”.

Mr Bell started his career as a sub-editor, before moving into political journalism, becoming a columnist and leader writer for the Herald and Sunday Herald. In 1997 he won the Orwell Prize for political journalism.

In a tribute to Mr Bell, on Saturday the Herald placed 10 of his finest articles online. Magnus Llewellin, editor-in-chief of The Herald & Times Group, said he was a “great writer” and a “great man of profound depth”.