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Reporter dies in bridge plunge

Tributes have been paid to a North East journalist who died after falling from the High Level Bridge in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The body of Roger Woodcock was found near the Sea nightclub on the Newcastle side of the Tyne at around 5.20am on Wenesday.

Police are not treating his death as suspicious.

Roger, (pictured), who was chief reporter at the Herald and Post Series, had been a journalist for more than 40 years.

Herald and Post editor Catherine Welford said: “His death has come as a big shock to all of us.

“He will leave a big gap that will be difficult to fill and will be sadly missed.”

Roger, (57), began his career at the Bridport News and worked on various regional newspapers.

After leaving school at 15, he began selling newspapers for WH Smith’s at Notting Hill tube station, and moved into journalism by accident when he visited a career advisor who thought writing for newspapers was the same as selling them and suggested a job on the Dorset title.

After leaving the Bridport News, Roger worked on newspapers including the Croydon Advertiser, and was a showbiz writer for Woman’s Own. He also spent time on the Evening Standard.

Before joining the Herald and Post 15 years ago he worked in Portugal on an English language magazine.

He had been chief reporter for the past six years, being named BT North East Weekly News Journalist of the Year in 1997 and 1999.

The judges in 1999 praised him for his work, saying at the time that he gave the people in his patch a voice through the paper, adding that it was him they turned to when they wanted their case heard.

Roger had also worked part-time for the Sunday Sun, whose editor Peter Montellier said: “Roger was a very talented guy who could have worked anywhere.

“He was a real people person and a really nice, decent bloke.

“He was extraordinarily committed and a great writer who made it look easy.”

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