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Broadcaster and journalist Simon Hoggart dies aged 67

Tributes have been paid to journalist and broadcaster Simon Hoggart who has died aged 67.

Hoggart, who spent the majority of his career at the Guardian, including a lengthy stint as its parliamentary sketchwriter, died yesterday.

The Guardian, which announced his death today, said he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer several years ago.

As well as his countless witty dispatches from Parliament and party conferences, Hoggart was the author of dozens of books.

He was a regular broadcaster, chairing the News Quiz on BBC's Radio 4 for a decade.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said he wrote with "mischief and a sometimes acid eye about the theatre of politics".

He said: "A daily reading of his sketch told you things about the workings of Westminster which no news story could ever convey. He will be much missed by readers and his colleagues."

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant, a regular target of Hoggart's sketches, said: "Such sad news. He teased me mercilessly but always kindly."

Referring to his time at the helm of the News Quiz, his Radio 4 colleague Corrie Corfield said: "Like to think that somewhere rather special Simon Hoggart is now being told to get a move on by Alan Coren, with lovely Linda Smith laughing."

Hoggart, the son of literary critic and academic Richard Hoggart, grew up in Hull and then Leicester before joining the Guardian in Manchester.

Former prime minister Tony Blair said: "It's a very sad moment for UK journalism. Simon was an outstanding commentator and writer with extraordinary wit, humour and insight. My deepest condolences and sympathy to all his family."

Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams said: "At Radio 4 we remember Simon most fondly for his contribution to the News Quiz, which he chaired for 10 years.

"He was hugely popular with our listeners, who valued his lively mind, his wit and humour, his love of satire and deep knowledge of politics which helped to turn the show into what it is today. He will be sadly missed."

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