DAVID SELF DIES: Openly gay journalist and broadcaster dies

PUBLISHED: 11:33 17 June 2008 | UPDATED: 08:30 02 June 2010

Author David Self from Coates

Author David Self from Coates

OPENLY gay journalist and broadcaster David Self- who famously wrote the questions for ITV's Sale of the Century and who took part in one of the country's first civil ceremonies for gay couples- has died. Mr Self, 67, had been battling liver

gay wedding  david self and majid jawad

OPENLY gay journalist and broadcaster David Self- who famously wrote the questions for ITV's Sale of the Century and who took part in one of the country's first civil ceremonies for gay couples- has died.

Mr Self, 67, had been battling liver disease and cancer for sometime: his partner Majid Jawad described it as "not a nice death. "

The couple met nine years ago and tied the knot at a civil ceremony at Audmoor House, March, on December 22, 2005- just days after a new Civil Partnership Act came into force.

Mr Self, a Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard columnist for many years, contributed to the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, the Guardian and New Statesman as well as being a prolific writer of Christian books. He had published 78 books.

He was outspoken in his support of the rights of gay couples and on the eve of his civil ceremony wrote about how "attitudes had changed since the day when I could have been imprisoned for what I did in private with a consenting friend."

But he claimed "not everything had changed- there are some people- including newspaper bosses- who believe that the long standing love which Majid and I have for each other should still not speak its name."

His Moslem partner, Majid, 47, with whom he had shared a house in Coates for some years, said "I feel robbed" by his partner's death and was struggling to come to terms with it.

Shortly before they exchanged vows, Majid dismissed any difficulties the inter faith partnership might throw up.

"My sexuality doesn't matter," he said. "My relationship with God is personal and it is not up to any man to judge me as another human."

Instead of presents the couple had asked for gifts of money to help pay for an eye operation for Majid's mother who lives in Iraq and who he has been unable to visit for many years.

One of Mr Self's endearing features was to combine a love of life with a profound understanding of Christian values and a mischievous sense of fun.

Once asked how he had come to set the questions on ITV's long running Sale of the Century, he described being "propositioned in a gentleman's lavatory at Anglia Television. I had just finished recording eight editions of a very cheap, late night short religious discussion show.

"The guy at the next stall looked at me sideways and said 'would you like to write me some general knowledge questions?' He suggested a few. By the time he's washed his hands, I was a fallen man. In eight years on the game, I set 130 questions a week for 26 weeks of the year."

Mr Self died at Peterborough Hospital after firstly being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and later developed cancer.

Majid described Mr Self "as a wonderful, gifted human being. He had such a sense of fun and was passionate about his writing and a real zest for life. He was also deeply religious and believed very much in the power of prayer. When he first became ill he was determined he would fight it- he was determined to prove the doctors wrong.

"He would say 'I will get my better- my faith is strong.'"

# The funeral service takes place at St Andrew's Church, Whittlesey, on June 30 at 11.30am. It will be followed by interment at the family grave at South Lopham near Diss.


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