I have spoken to Gilly and persuaded her to let her friends show their support on this page, only of course if and when they are able. I know the funds will be well used by Gilly. We know Gilly is not one to ask, so we will ask for her.
Gilly is a beloved friend to so many and mother to 4 beautiful children. From Edinburgh (a Scot through and through) she now lives in Luxembourg.
Her career began after her studies at Aberdeen University in the House of Commons as a young researcher in 1993. A year later she started work at the BBC, as a researcher at the BBC World Service and then BBC Westminster. An offer to research Ted Heath’s memoirs led her back to the House of Commons and a year delving into the Prime Ministerial archives. A chance meeting with British comedy producer Geoff Atkinson led her to join VERA productions as a researcher on Channel 4’s satirical show, Rory Bremner and the Long Johns. The only job where she enjoyed free Bolly on a Friday! Gilly then moved on to report for Merdian’s political show 7 Days and then to Fulcrum TV where we met. Gilly started at Fulcrum as an assistant producer, moving to producer and director on the acclaimed Channel 4 Power List series and Dispatches. She moved back to the BBC in 1999 for the next 13 years, directing for BBC 2’s Antiques Show, as a Senior Producer on BBC Breakfast, and as a political journalist, producer and documentary filmmaker at BBC Scotland.’
Gilly was awarded the BBC World Service Alexander Onassis Trust Award in 2000 and a prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2001. An award-winning journalist, her acclaimed documentary “The Hudsons Bay Boys” filmed across the Canadian Arctic in 2011, was put forward by the BBC for HotDocs Canada. Since 2013 she has been managing communications for Luxembourg for Finance.
Meanwhile, Gilly has raised four children, Hudson, Frobisher, Franklin and Amundsen, named after explorers of the Northwest Passage, who love and need her very much. In September 2019, after being told her cancer was terminal, she fought for curative surgery and put herself in the hands of Professor Fichtner-Feigl, Universitätsklinikum Freiburg. On December 20, 2019, a team of 8 specialists over 9 hours removed all tumours and resectioned her colon, liver, pancreas and removed her gall bladder. She struggled in the hospital for the next three months after losing three-quarters of her liver during surgery. She returned to Luxembourg during Covid, which made it impossible to receive the rehabilitation she needed. Unfortunately, cancer came back after chemotherapy in October, and she underwent another liver surgery in Freiburg. No more chemotherapy is possible, so she is now exploring alternative treatments to keep cancer away. Gilly’s challenges right now are to find new therapies, regain her health, and enjoy her family and life.
Please direct all queries and suggestions on Gilly's gofundme to Pauline Johnson via this sight or at [email redacted] (rather than to Gilly). I set up this page also on behalf of others who have suggested the same. Please circulate to anyone who might want to support. Gilly we love you.
Blessings and thanks, Pauline
- G&S Bryan-Orr
- Fiona Urquhart
- Paula Whitehouse
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