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Ex-regional journalist who founded ents news agency dies aged 66

Jonathan AshbyA journalist who founded his own entertainment news agency after starting out in the regional press has died aged 66.

Tributes have been paid to Jonathan Ashby, pictured left, who created the World Entertainment News Network after a career on Fleet Street.

The agency grew from the back room of his house in Barnet to an organisation with offices as far afield as Germany and the USA.

Jonathan’s stint on the international press had been preceded by a career in the regional press.

The Norwich native began his career on the East Anglian Daily Times, before moving to Spain to teach English and play electric violin with a rock band.

He then returned to England, joining the Watford Observer before starting shifts and freelancing at the London Evening Standard, The Dun and the Daily Mirror.

In an obituary for Media Guardian, Roy Greenslade wrote: “I worked with him at the Sun, where he contributed to the Bizarre column, which was then headed by John Blake.

“He was a hugely enthusiastic pop music reporter with excellent contacts.”

Jonathan, who died on 6 July, is survived by former wife Jackie, as well as daughters Juliette and Jessica.