Brian Doel, owner of the regional West Country Sunday Independent has died sudenly, aged 70.

Mr Doel, who retired as group managing director of Tindle Newspapers in May 2014 to return to his publication in the far South West of England died while he and his wife were in Cornwall on Saturday night.

Only hours earlier he had been assisting with the 200-year-old Sunday Independent’s latest edition, celebrating the achievements of a host of West Country Olympians.

Born in Dundee, Mr Doel spent his whole life in newspapers, serving first as a reporter on the Mid Devon Advertiser when he was 16. Then joining other Devon weekly titles, including the Sunday Independent, before moving into management when the title became part of the Mirror Newspapers’ training scheme.

He later headed a consortium of local businessmen who bought out the Mirror, and the successful development of several titles around the flagship Sunday Independent, which eventually led to a long association with the Tindle group.

When he took over a majority holding in the Sunday Independent a little over two years ago, it marked a 40-year association with the paper, and he said: ‘The Sunday Independent was launched in 1808 and has survived Napoleon and two World Wars. It has another 200 years ahead.’

Under his stewardship, the Sunday Independent became a sports and leisure-led newspaper, moving to new premises on the outskirts of Liskeard in South East Cornwall.

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