A producer of TV soap Emmerdale who ran a media business in Birmingham in the 1990s has died aged 41 after a short fight against cancer.
Gavin Blyth was the son of journalist and broadcaster Roger Blyth and his wife Frances. He was raised in Tarleton, near Southport, educated at Tarleton High School and studied photography at Southport College.
He followed in his father’s footsteps into journalism, joining his father’s company, Mercury Press Agency, Liverpool, working as a part-time sports writer before becoming a press photographer.
As photographer during this spell he spent more than a year in the South of France working on celebrity stories, before moving to Birmingham in the early 1990s to work at Caters News Agency, supplying news, features and pictures to the media.
He quickly became editor and manager at Caters, leading its expansion through to the middle of that decade. During this time he married his first wife Charlotte and the couple had their two children, Tom and Anya.
It was following death of his father Roger, in 1996, that Gavin set up in business himself with two other colleagues running a freelance agency specialising in features and celebrity material.
He then changed the path of his own career and towards the end of the decade entered the world of television, working in the Emmerdale press office.
During that time he developed a fascination for soap scripting and after a short secondment in that he was offered a job as storyliner. He quickly moved up the ranks to eventually become story editor before moving over to Coronation Street in the same role.
During his spell as series producer the show’s storylines addressed a number of controversial issues and collected a raft of awards.
Glowing tributes were paid to the father-of-three after he lost a battle with cancer, diagnosed only a matter of weeks before his death on November 26.
Emmerdale executive producer Steve November said: “Gavin made an immense contribution to Emmerdale since taking over as series producer in January 2009 and during many hugely successful years at ITV. As a friend and colleague, he will be missed an incredible amount by us all.”
Gavin’s sister Alison Sinclair, who is head of press at Coronation Street, said: “My brother loved his job and admired people who gave their all for the team. He was taken away from us too soon.”
Gavin’s funeral service was held on December 7 at St Cuthbert’s Church, Botanic Road, Churchtown, Southport, followed by a committal service at Southport Crematorium.