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“Eminent” regional political journalist dies aged 76

A political reporter described as “one of the North-East’s most eminent journalists” has died aged 76.

Tributes have been paid to Tony Baker, who started out in the regional press before covering the North-East of England for the BBC for almost 30 years.

Tony, pictured, began his career at the Northampton Chronicle & Echo before moving to the Rugby district office of the Coventry Telegraph.

He then switched to broadcasting with BBC Radio Leicester and in 1973 he secured an on-screen role at Border Television, in Carlisle.

Tony Baker

Six years later he became the BBC’s North East political correspondent, a role he held until 2004 when he decided to venture into film-making.

An obituary in the Hexham Courant states: “His love of travel, and epic adventure, saw him pursue projects in far-flung places including the high Arctic, China, the Sahara Desert and the USA, continuing to make friends wherever he went.

“His ability and drive to communicate stories never deserted him, and despite his recent ill-health, he was scoping a new television screenplay on the life and times of England cricketer Basil D’Oliveira.

“Friends say he faced recent adversity with enormous courage and grace. Tony remained a true gentleman to the end.”

Tony is survived by children Kathryn, Rosie and Charlie, and grandchildren Maisie, Oliver, Jack, Joe and Eliot.