Journalist of many talents Nicholas Light dies

Former News of the World journalist Nicholas Light has died aged 69.

He worked on national and regional newspapers, in television, as a successful freelance and finally as a senior information officer for Hampshire County Council.

In 1958 he joined the Hampshire Chronicle in Winchester, straight from National Service with the Royal Navy.

After two years learning the basics of the job he moved on to the Lancashire Evening Post in Preston.

But the call of Winchester persisted and he returned there after another three years to set up as a freelance with Joe Vodicka as a partner.

Working casual news desk shifts at the Daily Mail his talents were spotted and he was invited to work on ATV’s Braden’s Beat along with Esther Rasntzen and a talented young team

One of the stunts he took part in was to test an infallible course of piano tuition, when, as a committed non pianist, he played a duet with Dudley Moore before an audience of millions.

In Winchester the Crown Court complex had expanded and, with his wide network of contacts many of whom had become his friends, he was able to unearth the wide variety of background stories that lay behind the cases that passed through the courts.

On one occasion, when the other reporters had left, ignoring the last case on the list, one of incest, Nick stayed.

He knew that the accused, newly weds, were in fact a long separated brother and sister who had married in ignorance of their relationship.

The headline on the News of the World splash read “Newlyweds told never make love again”

So successful was he that Charlie Markus, legendary news editor of the News of the World made him an offer he couldn’t refuse and he joined the paper, still based in Winchester but travelling the world, often following his own leads.

But the call of television was still there and, in 1981, he joined Southern Television where he worked on the news desk until illness struck.

He fought it with extraordinary courage and was soon back at work as a senior information officer with Hampshire County Council, a role for which he was ideally suited.

He retired 10 years ago to the Isle of Wight, where he lived happily with his second wife, Stephanie, by whom he had three children, and their dogs. Nick also had a daughter, Sally, by his first wife, Mary.

The funeral will be at Isle of Wight Crematorium, Cowes, on Friday November 23.

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