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Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Remembering a 'talented' reporter
A coroner has recorded a verdict of unlawful killing on reporter Terry Lloyd, who was killed by a US bullet while working for ITV News covering the British and American invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Jim Buchanan, former ITN head of foreign news, remembers his former colleague's indomitable spirit.

Terry Lloyd
ITN reporter Terry Lloyd was killed near Basra in March 2003
He had been all over the globe, seen all manner of sights and done the kind of things most journalists can only dream of.

He once dropped into Hawaii to eat Christmas dinner while following Richard Branson's around-the-world balloon journey.

He spent weeks in the Arctic with Sir Ranulph Fiennes, lived under siege in Sarajevo at the height of the Bosnian war - and was attacked by Eric Cantona on a paradise island.

When it came to "When I" stories, as in "When I was in...", Terry had some of the best.

Cantona incident

The Cantona incident was one of his favourites. Sent out to find Cantona after the football ace had attacked a fan with a flying karate kick, Terry tracked him to Guadeloupe and promptly also came on the receiving end of the Frenchman's fury.

Volatile and talented himself, Terry did not bear a grudge towards Cantona and came back to discover himself all over the front pages and in a Daily Mail cartoon.

As his producer when ITN opened its north of England Bureau in 1990, I soon got to know the real Lloydy.

We knew with Terry, we'd have a real chance of producing a real scoop
He was immensely competitive and at the end of each day he would review his efforts against his competitors.

If he had won - as he so often did - it was cause for a team celebration in the nearest bar.

Being a member of a team was important to him - he loved his colleagues and would always make sure the cameraman, the picture editor - and the producer - took their part of the credit and shared the inevitable herograms. In turn, he inspired loyalty.

When I became slightly more senior and put together teams for a particular assignment, the first question I'd be asked would be: "Who's the correspondent?"

When told it would be Terry, big grins appeared. They knew with Terry they had have a real chance of producing a real scoop. And many times, they did.

Kosovo first

During the Kosovo war, Terry was the first correspondent to clandestinely cross the border into Serbia with cameraman Mike Inglis and together they produced a memorable - and award-winning - piece about the dangers faced by refugees fleeing Milosevic.

Eric Cantona's kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park, 1995
Eric Cantona's kung-fu kick led to a memorable moment
Lloydy was from the East Midlands, like me, and we shared the same local journalistic heroes, those that had helped shape his career and mine. His father was a policeman, killed in a crash answering a false 999 call.

Almost his first assignment was covering his own father's inquest for the agency he had joined in Derby at the age of 17. It seems harsh now, but Terry saw it all as part of his new vocation.

He was to see many courts and inquests in the following years as his career developed - he became a reporter for ATV - now Carlton - and began doing shifts for ITN in London.

He was able to make valuable contacts easily, and worked hard at keeping them. They knew he would never betray a source of information and he never did.

Challenges

For some years, he concentrated on stories involving individuals facing enormous personal challenges where courage and endurance were the key to success.

Terry realised the only way to cover them properly was to share the privations and to throw himself whole-heartedly into the challenge as if success or failure depended on him too.

Fred Nerac
Cameraman Fred Nerac's body has never been found
Terry was delighted when his former mentor from agency days and long-time friend, David Mannion, was appointed editor of ITV News earlier in 2003.

He was given a renewed vote of confidence and went back on the road as a foreign correspondent, doing what he did best, working in a small team, getting under the skin of a story and producing results to make the opposition envious.

Who knows what he might have achieved in Iraq. He certainly had the best around him - Fred Nerac, a quiet Frenchman who is still missing along with their interpreter, and cameraman Daniel Demoustier.

His death was a tragedy for the whole journalistic community, but far more so for his wife Lynn, daughter Chelsey and beloved young son Ollie.

Jim Buchanan is a former ITN journalist, who now works in world newsgathering for the BBC.


SEE ALSO
Profile: Terry Lloyd
23 Mar 03 |  UK

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