Film maker Andy Matthews, who began his career as an editor on groundbreaking music show The Tube, has died aged 57.
The award-winning director, who made his home on Tyneside for 30 years, had been diagnosed with lung cancer in September.
Tributes from the world of film, television and music have been pouring in since his untimely death on Monday.
His longtime collaborator, director Geoff Wonfor, said the industry had lost an indescribable talent while he had lost his “best friend in the world”.
After meeting on The Tube, Geoff and Andy embarked on a creative partnership which lasted the best part of 25 years. Together, they worked with the biggest names in music and built a reputation for making innovative and inspiring music programming.
Channel Four’s The White Room, Robbie Williams’ pioneering box office concert for Sky TV, the Eurythmics Revenge Tour film in Sydney Australia, a BBC1 Imagine documentary on Stella McCartney and Prince’s New Year’s Eve concert to see in the millennium all had their famous style stamp.
But they were perhaps best known for the Grammy and Bafta-award winning Beatles Anthology, which saw the friends become house mates from Monday to Friday for five years.
Geoff said: “The word ‘genius’ gets bandied around far too much, but I have no qualms about using it to describe Andy Matthews. He had such an instinctive and intuitive way of working, whether he was cutting a live gig or putting together a documentary in the edit suite. I’ve never worked with anyone like him and I know I never will again.
“I always used to tell him he made me look good, and he’d always come back with ‘we make each other look good’. I had the best times of my working life with Andy and am so very proud of what me made together. I will miss him every day.”
Born in 1956, Andy grew up in Torquay with his adoptive parents.
He first got the film making bug after getting a job carrying film cans for a company in London. From there, he became interested in editing and made it his business to learn how.
After a short stint editing feature films, he moved into television - and to Newcastle - to edit The Tube, which was filmed at the old Tyne Tees studios on City Road.
For the past decade, Andy, a father of three, had been busy building a reputation as sought after director in his own right, making shows like The Album Chart Show for Channel Four. In recent years he was recruited by rock legends Iron Maiden as their resident film maker.
Andy’s eldest son, Daniel, 30, said going on tour with Iron Maiden and making their acclaimed Behind The Beast TV documentary, had given him the cherished opportunity to travel the world - something he’d missed out on when he was an editor.
He said: “He was an amazing dad. I’ve been going into the cutting room with him for as long as I can remember. They used to joke that they’d take me into the Egypt Cottage and the Rose and Crown in my moses basket. It’s really tough to think he’s not going to be around anymore.
“My brother is getting married this year and I’m getting married next year. He was so excited about it all. He so loved a good party.”
Andy is survived by his partner Maggie, sons Daniel and Joe and daughter Natalie.