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Journalist who became regional TV news pioneer dies aged 96

A journalist who was a pioneer in regional television reporting has died aged 96.

Tributes have been paid to Cecil Taylor, who became the first television reporter for BBC News Northern Ireland in 1955.

Cecil, pictured, began his career in newspapers and joined the BBC from the Irish Times.

He later went on to serve as news editor and finally as head of programmes.

Cecil Taylor

Don Anderson, who worked with him for many years, told the BBC: “[Cecil] was a brave journalist who began the BBC’s journey towards proper impartial journalism here.

“He used to say that when he arrived at the BBC the news from the Belfast newsroom sounded as if it had been written in Stormont Castle and he did something to change that, which was highly important.”

Don added: “You knew what was expected – fair and accurate reporting. Anything else and he came down on top of you like a ton of bricks.”

Cecil is survived by his widow Doreen, his daughter Olwyn, son-in-law Ian and granddaughter Matty at tomorrow’s service.