Tributes paid to award-winning journalist Kenneth Roy

Kenneth Roy has been described as a "unique" force in Scottish journalism.
Kenneth Roy has been described as a "unique" force in Scottish journalism.
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Tributes have been paid to Kenneth Roy, the veteran journalist whose career spanned print, online, television and radio for more than five decades.

An award-winning reporter and editor best known for his spell co-presenting the BBC’s flagship Reporting Scotland programme, Mr Roy revealed earlier this year he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He died earlier today at the age of 73.

Over the course of a varied and successful career, Mr Roy worked for newspapers including The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, and The Herald, and was named columnist of the year at the 1994 UK Press Gazette awards.

His daily notebook, entitled Kenneth Roy’s Pocket Companion, graced the back page of The Scotsman for years.

Mr Roy, who was born in Falkirk and began his journalistic career at the age of just 13, working as the Bonnybridge correspondent of the Falkirk Mail, went on to write two personal accounts of post-war Scotland.

The Invisible Spirit, which spanned the period between 1945 and 1975, was described by Ian Hamilton QC as the most remarkable book about Scotland he had ever read. Its sequel, The Broken Journey, charted Scotland’s story to the turn of the millennium.

For the past 24 years, Mr Roy edited the Scottish Review, a quarterly print publication which went on to garner a large and appreciative online audience on account of its investigative journalism, essays, and arts coverage.

READ MORE: Obituary: Kenneth Roy, writer, TV presenter, West Sound founder, and stalwart of Scottish journalism

Despite his failing health, he chronicled his final weeks and months in the Scottish Review while writing more than 40,000 words of an as yet untitled book from his hospital bed.
In an article shared with his readers in early October, he told of receiving news of an “unwelcome diagnosis.”
“That isn’t an original euphemism, by the way,” he explained. “I’m indebted to Michael Morpurgo for thinking of it first in a recent Spectator diary about his own situation. ‘An unwelcome diagnosis’ - I smiled in admiration at this neat way of avoiding the actual word.”
The writer and cultural commentator, Pat Kane, described Mr Roy as an “adventurer in media, journalism and letters,” adding that his life was a “salutary lesson in permanently being up for it.”
Gerry Hassan, the writer and academic, said Mr Roy was “a man of letters, spirit and principles.”
Writing on Twitter, he said: “He was a unique force: a challenger of authority, a provocateur & a campaigner. And a nurturer of talent in others including young people. He is an example & inspirer we could do with more of.”
Mr Roy’s funeral will be a private family service. A memorial service will be held early next year.

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