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Regional journalist turned PR man dies week before wedding

Screenshot-2018-6-8 Alex Kalinik ( AlexKalinik) Twitter

A former regional daily news editor who went into PR has died suddenly a week before he was due to get married.

Alex Kalinik, pictured, spent ten years at the South Wales Argus before moving into a PR role with the pro-Remain campaign in Wales ahead of the 2016 EU referendum, then going on to work in a comms role for Tata Steel.

Former colleagues at the Newport daily were left in shock after Alex collapsed and died on Saturday 2 June – the week before he was due to marry partner Katy Jones.

The pair were due to tie the knot at Llanerch vineyard in the Vale of Glamorgan at the weekend.

After taking his NCTJ pre-entry exams at De Montfort University, Alex joined his hometown paper the Basingstoke Gazette as a trainee reporter in 2004 before moving to the Argus as a sub-editor/designer two years later.

In 2014 he became regional production controller at the then Newsquest copy-editing hub in Newport before moving back to the Argus as news editor in 2015.

Argus editor Nicole Garnon said: ““Alex will be greatly missed by us here. He was a gentle and clever young man with a quick and dry wit and great ability.

“Our thoughts go out to his family, his many friends and of course to Katy.”

Chris Kirwan, a sports writer on the Argus who first got to know Alex at De Montfort, added: said: “He had a talent for feature writing and an insatiable desire for a pun, so perhaps it wasn’t surprising that he became a sub editor to sneak a few into the papers.

“I was so pleased when our paths crossed again at the Argus a couple of years later, laughing with him about comedy shows and laughing at him when it came to his blind loyalty to Wales at rugby.

“He was just a funny bloke who was easy to get along with and great company, all of us that somehow managed to get through that course at De Montfort will remember him fondly.”

Alex, who was in his late 30s, lived in Cardiff and was a keen rugby fan, travelling to New Zealand with his father to support Wales in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Katy told the Argus: “When I first met Alex, I was struck by how genuine he was, by his wit, his warmth and massive capacity for both useful and useless facts. He took a real interest in pretty much everything and cared deeply for his family and friends.

“As our relationship progressed these attributes continued to impress me, along with his mastery of words, his incredible thoughtfulness and his cheesy jokes. He made me laugh so much.

“He also wanted to make the world a better place to live in and involved himself in politics to that end.

“The thing about Alex I cherished the most was his infectious enthusiasm (he got ridiculously excited at Christmas time and would wear a Christmas jumper/shirt every day of December) and the incredible belief he had in others. He was one of a kind.”