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North East journalist who went to Fleet St dies at 76

A former regional press journalist who went on to work in Fleet Street and broadcasting has died at the age of 76.

Arthur Brian Dixon, who was known as Brian, started his journalism career at the now-defunct Gateshead Post in 1953 while he was still at school and later worked for the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

He then went on to work for the Daily Sketch in London and the Daily Mail in Birmingham before spending 17 years at The Sun, predominantly as a crime reporter, before moving into broadcasting at the then Central Television in Nottingham.

Brian died in Bassetlaw Hospital on 3 June with daughter Sally at his side after spending a number of years fighting a battle with dementia and his funeral has been held in Nottinghamshire.

His journalism career started at Gateshead Post while he was still at school, spending every Saturday and school holidays as the newsroom runner and tea boy, before being taken on full time after leaving school.

He then had a career break for military service which included parachuting into Egypt during the Suez Canal crisis, before returning to the Post and later moving to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

In 1961, Brian moved to London to work on the Daily Sketch, covering the Great Train Robbery and the infamous Biafran War in Nigeria before leaving in 1969.

He spent time working for the Daily Mail in Birmingham before joining The Sun for 17 years, where he covered major stories including the trials of the Yorkshire Ripper and the Black Panther.

In 1988, he left The Sun after falling out with the paper on “moral grounds” and had a short spell freelancing as Trent Valley News, before joining Central Television, now ITV Central, and working on the station’s crime reports for almost a decade.

Brian retired in 2001 and spent time travelling to different parts of the world, particularly with two long-standing friends Frank Palmer and Chris Throup. He spent the last few years of his life in a care home in Boughton, Nottinghamshire.

An obituary written by Chris has been published on the the National Union of Journalistswebsite.