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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 January 2008, 14:43 GMT
Newspaper columnist Kington dies
Miles Kington
Newspaper columnist Miles Kington has died after a short battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 66.

The writer, who had written regularly for The Independent since the newspaper began in 1986, penned his last column on Thursday.

His books included Let's Parler Franglais!, based on his own light-hearted Anglo-French language.

Last year, Kington was diagnosed with haemochromatosis, a genetic disorder where the body absorbs too much iron.

He died on Wednesday at his home in Limpley Stoke, near Bath.

Before joining the Independent, Kington wrote for The Times and Punch, where he became literary editor in 1973.

He also made a foray into broadcasting, with programmes such as Three Miles High, Great Railway Journeys Of The World, Steam Days and The Burma Road.

He wrote and presented several radio programmes in the 1990s, including a series of documentaries about world leaders for BBC Radio Four.

Jazz fan

His other books included 1983's A Wolf In Frog's Clothing and Steaming Through Britain, published in 1990.

A fictional autobiography, written in 2005, was titled Someone Like Me: Tales From a Borrowed Childhood.

Born in Northern Ireland in 1941 and raised in Wrexham, Kington went to college in Perthshire before reading modern languages at Trinity College, Oxford.

He began freelance writing shortly after graduating.

A huge jazz fan, a topic often touched on in his Independent column, Kington played the double bass and other instruments in the jazz group Instant Sunshine.

Kington's stage plays included Waiting For Stoppard, and Death Of Tchaikovsky - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.

One of his first national newspaper jobs was as the jazz reviewer for The Times.


Your memories of Miles Kington

Miles was a great friend. I appeared on several of his radio shows in the guise of the opinionated Lady Margaret. Always one for a merry quip, when we said last week that we were planning to visit him, he commented wryly 'Don't leave it too long!'
Ralph Oswick, Bath

When I was at school I drew cartoon strips for the school magazine, which also included copies of some of Kington's articles. When we sent him a prototype copy of the first issue to ask his permission to use his articles, he responded with a letter saying yes. It included a critique of my cartoons that makes me smile to this day: 'As soon as that man learns to draw, he'll go far.'
N Nada, Glasgow

What a sad, sad loss! His column in The Independent has been consistently funny, thought provoking and highly original. He will be missed by a lot of people who looked to him to cheer them up with his gentle and wry humour.
Chris Hunter, Farnham, Surrey

I acted in his only play called 'Waiting for Stoppard', which opened at the Bristol Old Vic. Miles was a complete gentleman in every way. Kind, generous of spirit, always thought the best of everyone, and he was very very funny.
Stephen Israel, East Chiltington, East Sussex

I have enjoyed his column in the Independent since it was launched. Inventive and so well observed. While spending a few nights in Alnwick a couple of years ago, we visited Barters secondhand bookshop and saw a poster saying that Miles was talking about autobiographies there that night. An un-missable opportunity. He could not have been more entertaining, talking, reading and answering our questions. Simply a genius.
Eric Bridgstock, St Albans

I bought Moreover when I started as a writer and after reading that went out and bought the whole Parlais series. The man inspired me, his ideas were manifold, he could construct a sentence which had so many possibilities, conveyed his point yet allowed the reader to savour their own imagination. It was a rare gift, and one I think lacking from many 'humour' writers of today. I'll miss him.
Ed Parnell, Swansea

When I was at school (25 years ago) I always read Miles Kington's brilliantly witty column in The Times. He was simply superb every time - a top class writer and humorist who added hugely to my enjoyment of school days!
Philip Godfrey, London

I wrote to him once, following an article of his on South American train journeys. I was about to start out there as a tour leader and I asked him for his advice on where to take my group in Peru. He kindly replied that I should take them to Machu Picchu and leave them there, to find their own way back. I didn't take his advice but have remembered his sharp but light-hearted wit ever since.
Huw Hennessy, Sidmouth

I worked with Miles on one of the BBC's Great Journeys of the World - 'The Burma Road'. He was one of the most delightful people that I have had the pleasure to be associated with. A wonderful and imaginative sense of humour, generous in every sense of the word and a great travelling companion. I am very saddened by the news of his untimely death.
David South, London


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