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Death of reporter who interviewed Idi Amin and Africa's 'cannibal emperor'

Tributes are being paid to a Westcountry journalist whose profession took him around the world.

Writer and broadcaster Roy Lipscombe died at 63 after suffering ill health for many years.

He is best known for his time as a reporter and producer on the BBC regional news programme Spotlight South West.

But he was also a Cornish Times reporter and wrote regular columns for the Evening Herald in Plymouth. He also offered public relations consultancy to a wide variety of local businesses.

Roy began his career as a cub reporter on his home town daily, the Exeter Express & Echo.

He worked for the BBC in North Africa before joining Spotlight, where he was responsible for Saturday news and sports bulletins.

In Africa he interviewed the cannibal Emperor Bokassa in the 1970s, as well as dictator Idi Amin.

Based in Plymouth on his return, he covered most of the major events to affect the Westcountry over 30 years, and was responsible for local Saturday news and sports bulletins.

He reported on some of the South West’s most memorable events, including the Lyme Bay canoeing tragedy.

Cornish Times director Jan Eagle said Roy had made a huge contribution to the newspaper.

She added: “He will be sadly missed – not just by his colleagues but by all who came in contact with him.”

Stuart Fraser, his friend and business partner, said: “He was a joy to work with. He had a marvellous sense of humour and always found something positive in everything.

“Roy was a fine journalist of the old school who cared about the people he met and the words he wrote.

“He has died tragically young and his friends can only take comfort in the fact that Roy packed an enormous amount of achievement, experience and fun into the years he had.”

Former colleagues from BBC Spotlight also have fond memories of Roy. Home affairs correspondent Simon Hall paid tribute to ‘a deeply decent man’. His colleague Alec Collyer said: “Roy was always a gentleman and a really lovely man to work with.”