TV personality Gloria Hunniford has voiced her admiration for long-serving Co Armagh reporter Victor Gordon, who has died after a short illness.
The broadcaster, like Victor, hails from Portadown, and they both attended Portadown College.
She told the News Letter she felt as if she had known him “forever”.
Speaking by phone from France, she said she had spoken to him just several weeks ago, when he had rung her with a view to writing a story after learning she was to get an OBE.
She said Victor had known her father, who had worked as an advertising manager for Morton Newspapers, the local newspaper group controlling the Portadown Times.
She had trusted him as a reporter, she said, adding: “Anything that ever happened to me, he was always ringing up for a story.
“All throughout my career Victor seems to have been around.
“From that point of view he’s been a great personal supporter, and a great family supporter as well.
“It didn’t matter what it was that was in the news.
“Whether I was moving to London, whether I was getting divorced, whether I was getting remarried – and most recently the OBE – Victor was always on the phone.
“I always gave him an interview, because I know he pretty well had my back.
“Victor was an incredible writer, and an incredible reporter – because once he got the bit between his teeth, he never gave up until he got the interview.
“So from that point of view he was a fabulous journalist.
“Even after he in essence retired, he still continued his freelancing – hence the fact he was on to me a couple of weeks ago, literally in June.
“He was tenacious. He was good at spotting a story... and he was very good at getting it.
“And I always admired him for that.”
When they had spoken on the phone, she said, there had been no hint that he was unwell.