In memory of A.A. Gill
In memory of A.A. Gill, 1954-2016
AA Gill enchanted Sunday Times readers with his words and witticisms for two decades and was probably best known as a TV and restaurant critic. No one could make people laugh – and restaurateurs cry – like him. But he was most passionate about his long-form journalism for the Sunday Times Magazine where he showed a campaigning zeal on the subjects close to his heart, particularly the fate of refugees. In 2016, he once again showed his extraordinary range joining migrants on their perilous journey this time as they fled tyrannical regimes in central America to find dubious sanctuary in Mexico, crossing the Guatemalan border. In typical Adrian style, he told the story of a magical trans-sexual romance against a backdrop of horror – finding as ever the jewel in the dust. The second was a piece in the Magazine’s Europe Special, just before the Brexit vote in which he argued eloquently for Britain to stay in the EU rather than go back to being ghastly Little England. The third was Adrian’s last ever piece of writing. He refused painkillers on his deathbed in order to write it. The result was a devastating account of his cancer and his critique of NHS cancer care. Written in diary form, it read like a polemic. The Magazine lead time – it is printed a week ahead – meant the piece was published the morning after he died. AA Gill’s timing was, as usual, impeccable. His piece sent shockwaves through the British media, was trending on Twitter and has sparked a national conversation about the efficacy of the NHS.
AA Gill was selected for the 2017 European Press Prize shortlist with ‘AA Gill faces up to his cancer’ and ‘TableTalk – The Magpie Café Whitby’