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Author Miles Kington dies

Miles Kington

Story by Jack Foley

AUTHOR and newspaper columnist Miles Kington has died at the age of 66 following a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

Kington’s books included Let’s Parler Franglais!, based on his own light-hearted Anglo-French language, and Someone Like Me: Tales From a Borrowed Childhood, a fictional autobiography written in 2005.

He was also well-known and widely respected for his regular column in national newspaper The Independent, which he had been penning since the newspaper began in 1986. His final column appeared on Thursday [January 31, 2008].

Kington passed away at his home in Limpley Stoke, near Bath, on Wednesday [January 30].

Born in Northern Ireland in 1941, Kington was subsequently raised in Wrexham and went to college in Perthshire before reading modern languages at Trinity College, Oxford.

He developed a passion for writing at an early age and began freelance writing shortly after graduating. He quickly spread his talents widely, writing novels, stage plays and newspaper columns throughout his career.

But literature wasn’t his only love and his also regularly indulged his passion for jazz by playing the double bass and other instruments in jazz group, Sunshine.

And his love of music took him briefly into broadcasting with programmes such as Three Miles High, Great Railway Journeys Of The World and The Burma Road.

He also wrote and presented several radio programmes in the ’90s, including a series of documentaries about world leaders on BBC Radio 4.

Before joining The Independent in 1986, Kington wrote for The Times and Punch, where he became literary editor in 1973.

His stage work included writing scripts for Waiting For Stoppard and Death Of Tchaikovsky – A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, while other novels included A Wolf In Frog’s Clothing (in 1983) and Steaming Through Britain (1990).

Last year, Kington was diagnosed with haemochromatosis, a genetic disorder where the body absorbs too much iron.