Lesley Land, a longtime publicist at U.K. public broadcaster Channel 4, has died. She was 41.
Variety understands Land died unexpectedly at home last Friday.
She had worked at Channel 4 for eight years, predominantly on popular factual and entertainment. She had recently been working on comedian David Baddiel’s documentary about antisemitism, “Jews Don’t Count,” shortly before her death.
In a statement, Channel 4 said: “Everyone at Channel 4 is deeply saddened by the news that our long-standing colleague and friend, Lesley Land, passed away last Friday.”
“Lesley joined Channel 4 in 2014. She was the driving force of many of Channel 4’s most memorable press campaigns of the last decade, including ‘Gogglebox,’ ‘Baby Hospital,’ ‘The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan,’ ‘Stand Up To Cancer,’ ‘TFI Friday,’ ‘The Big Narstie Show’ and ‘Miriam & Alan’ – delivering them all with her typical flair and panache. Her most recent project was ‘Jews Don’t Count.’ She said she had never been prouder to work on a programme.”
“Lesley was a wonderful friend, a generous colleague and made tremendous fun wherever she went. But ultimately family was at the core of Lesley’s life. Our hearts go out to them at this devastating time. Much loved by all who knew her, she will be sorely missed.”
Friends and colleagues have also paid tribute to the popular publicist, including some of the screen industry figures she worked with.
“She was simply a joy: fun and upbeat and insightful and boundlessly energetic,” Baddiel told Broadcast. “I was very much looking forward to working with her again, and very sad that now I won’t.”
Russell T. Davies, who worked with Land on “Doctor Who,” told the publication: “There’s no one you’d rather be with when pushing a Dalek up a ramp at 3am. Of course, her uncle, Michael Grade, famously cancelled ‘Doctor Who’ back in the 80s. ‘To hell with him!’ she’d say, hooting, loving him dearly.”
Cath Taylor, co-founder of PR agency Taylor Herring, tweeted: “Heartbroken about Lesley Land. She was an iconic presence at Taylor Herring, an exceptional PR diva, her brilliance, her wit, her class were one in a million #riplesleyland my thoughts & love go to her family, colleagues at C4 and all the talented people who got to work with her.”
Land is survived by her mother Anita Land and her brother.
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