TRIBUTES have been paid to “the gentle giant of politics in Yorkshire” BBC Yorkshire political editor Len Tingle, who has died aged 63.
A familiar face on BBC Look North and Sunday Politics, Mr Tingle was diagnosed with stomach cancer around a year ago and died yesterday in a local hospice.
Mr Tingle, who was brought up in Cudworth near Barnsley, began his broadcasting career in 1981 with Central TV.
He joined the BBC in 1989 and worked as a Business Presenter for BBC News in London.
He then moved to Leeds and worked as Business and Industry correspondent for six years before taking up the role of political editor in 2001.
He was a regular voice on BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Sheffield and BBC Radio York.
Helen Thomas, Head of BBC Yorkshire, said: “Len was the gentle giant of politics in Yorkshire – as a colleague he was kind, honest and always ready to help others.
“As a political journalist he was passionate in the pursuit of the real story – for many he made sense of the changing political landscape in Yorkshire and it’s a tribute to him that so many of the politicians of today and yesterday saw him as a journalist they could trust in good times and in bad. We will always miss him.”
Tim Iredale, presenter of Sunday Politics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire said: “I knew Len for 20 years. We were initially rivals, as I covered politics for ITV Yorkshire. Over time, he became a trusted friend and much-loved colleague. He believed politics was about hearing from real people across Yorkshire and not just following the latest agenda at Westminster.”
And Harry Gration, presenter of BBC Look North, said he was a “fearless reporter” who would often ring him with tips about how to challenge the big political hitters, when they came on Look North.
He said: “He will be greatly missed by his colleagues who all loved and respected him.”