Sunday, April 4, 1999 Published at 03:08 GMT 04:08 UK
Veteran newsman Gardner dies
Andrew Gardner: "A great professional"
Veteran ITN newsreader Andrew Gardner has died from a heart attack.
The 66-year-old collapsed and died on board an aircraft on the way to Madeira for an Easter break.
ITN confirmed on Saturday that Mr Gardner, who presented the first News at Ten on 3 July 1967, died on Friday.
Last week, he accepted an award, along with Sir Alistair Burnett, for News at Ten's contribution to television news from the Broadcast Press Guild.
Mr Gardner, of Benenden, near Cranbrook in Kent, leaves behind his wife, Margaret, and four sons, Mark, Adrian, Maxwell and Adam.
Paying tribute to him, Stewart Purvis, chief executive of ITN, said: "All of us who worked with Andrew at ITN are shocked by his death because only a week ago he appeared to be in good health.
"Andrew was one of Britain's most popular newscasters for three decades on ITN then on Thames News.
"Many will remember him most for his partnership on News at Ten with Reginald Bosanquet.
"He was a great News at Ten loyalist and especially asked if he could be in the control room at ITN to watch the very last edition go out.
"He told me how much it meant to him.
"Andrew was a great professional and one of the nicest people who ever worked in the stressful world of television news."
A news 'ambassador'
Newsreader Trevor McDonald said: "Andrew Gardner was the voice of News at Ten's authority and the custodian of its values.
"But he also kept us entertained with a fund of stories about the programme's early days.
"He never lost his enthusiasm for what News at Ten became and no programme could have had a better ambassador."
Mr Gardner started his journalistic career in 1957 when he joined the Central African Federation in Rhodesia.
He returned to the UK with his wife in 1961 and started working as a freelance journalist for the BBC before joining Independent Television News on programmes Roving Report and Dateline.
He spent more then 10 years as the anchorman of News at Ten before moving on to Thames News on Thames Television.