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Ex-Reporter man loses MS battle

PUBLISHED: 17:19 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:38 23 August 2010

BRAVE: John Pettman.

BRAVE: John Pettman.

A FORMER Reporter journalist has died after a 10-year battle with Multiple Sclerosis. John Pettman, 54, who joined the newspaper as a junior reporter in 1972 when he was 16-years-old, died last Thursday. The father-of-two, who used to live in Cecil Road

A FORMER Reporter journalist has died after a 10-year battle with Multiple Sclerosis.

John Pettman, 54, who joined the newspaper as a junior reporter in 1972 when he was 16-years-old, died last Thursday. The father-of-two, who used to live in Cecil Road, Northfleet when he worked for the Reporter, spent the last three years living at the Peter Gidney Care Home, Darenth Road, Dartford.

His son Adam Pettman, 19, who is currently studying computer science at the University of the West of Scotland in Paisley, said: "I was very close to my dad, and I was able to come down quite a lot to see him in the last few years when he was suffering from MS.

"He had so many friends in this area. My dad was a really creative and lively person, he was always full of ideas and he was always buzzing with excitement.

"I know that he was ecstatic to get the job at the Reporter, he got the job straight out of school and he loved it."

Mr Pettman went on to produce and direct a number of television shows, including the BBC current affairs programme Nationwide, and also That's Life, the popular consumer show hosted by Esther Rantzen, running on the BBC from 1973 to 1994.

He became the series producer and director of the award-winning Blues and Twos, a documentary series on ITV that featured the emergency services, and also shot films for BBC's Crimewatch.

Family friend Julia Harland said: "I have known John since I first met my husband, when I was just 17 years old. I will remember John very fondly, every moment was a laugh with him."

Mr Pettman had a 17-year-old daughter, Laura, who is attending school in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, and was divorced from his wife Amanda.

His funeral is expected to take place within the next two weeks.

ed.riley@archant.co.uk

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