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Tribute to former MP and newsman

PUBLISHED: 16:30 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:35 23 August 2010

MOURNED: Timothy Dennis Brinton.

MOURNED: Timothy Dennis Brinton.

A FORMER Gravesham MP and popular ITN newscaster has died. Timothy Dennis Brinton died aged 79 on Sunday, March 22 after suffering from dementia for several years. During his television and radio career he interviewed the Shah of Iran before his downfa

A FORMER Gravesham MP and popular ITN newscaster has died.

Timothy Dennis Brinton died aged 79 on Sunday, March 22 after suffering from dementia for several years.

During his television and radio career he interviewed the Shah of Iran before his downfall, was the first reporter to appear nude on television when recording an item about Turkish baths and he also appeared as a newscaster in the 1978 comedy Carry On Emmanuelle and Otto Preminger's Bunny Lake is Missing.

In 1974, he was elected to Kent County Council and then to parliament as Conservative MP for Gravesend in 1979.

He held on to his seat four years later when his constituency was renamed Gravesham.

But he opted not to stand again in the 1987 general election citing 'personal and business reasons'.

During his political career, he became chairman of the Conservative Party's parliamentary media committee and after leaving Parliament he continued to run a consultancy, training businessmen and politicians in broadcasting.

Conservative councillor for Woodlands ward, Gravesham, of Windsor Road, Gravesend, William Dyke of Windsor Road, Gravesend, served as Mayor of Gravesend during Mr Brinton's first term as MP.

He said: "Tim was an excellent MP. As Mayor I met him on many social occasions. He served two terms and was very much supported by the constituents.

"He got to know the people he represented and was a good mixer, he was never aloof. All in all I think he was very well liked.

"He looked after people's interests and I am very saddened to hear that he had passed away."

Born in Paddington in 1929, Mr Brinton attended Summer Fields preparatory school, near Oxford, Eton and Geneva University.

After graduating he did National Service in the Royal Scots and then studied acting and production at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London.

He joined the BBC in 1951 as a radio announcer before moving to Radio Hong Kong in 1956 where he worked as head of English language programmes until joining ITN as one of its first newscasters in 1959.

He married first, in 1954, Jane-Mari Coningham, daughter of Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham and they had a son and three daughters.

They divorced in 1965, in which year he married Jeanne Wedge whom he had two daughters.

His widow Jeanne said: "Tim will be missed by his many fans all over the country, who will feel they have lost a personal friend. The children, grandchildren and I deeply mourn his death.

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