Tuesday, August 26, 2014

John Toye -- The Nice Guy

After ten years in the theatre, Toye joined Scottish Television (STV) in 1976 as anchor for the evening news program Scotland Today.  Ten years and some 3,000 programs later, the newscaster was removed when network executives decided to revamp the show in 1986.  Toye briefly remained with STV presenting What's Your Problem, a weekly consumer program.  As his career declined, Toye began to drink, once even admitting himself to a hospital for a month to control his addiction.  Fined for drunk driving and threatened with jail time should he be convicted again, Toye tried to rebuild his life in Scotland's West Country.  In 1990, he moved into a flat above a charity shop in the Devon village of South Molton and started to look for work.  In two years, the 56-year-old former anchorman landed only occasional work in news programs and a voice-over assignment for a television documentary.

On the afternoon of April 29, 1992, the rector of the church where Toye sang in the choir received a letter from him stating that he intended to kill himself.  The rector rushed to Toye's flat, which was already jammed with police who had been summoned there by a concerned friend of the former newscaster.  Breaking into the flat, authorities found Toye in a sitting position with a gunshot wound to his head and a double-barreled shotgun beside him.  Near the body was a glass and an empty bottle of wine.  Copies of a recently drafted will, a handwritten note, a sealed package for a friend, and a bundle of sheet music were also recovered.  Once asked how he would like to be remembered, Toye had responded:  "Just as a nice guy who tried to do a good job."

No comments:

Post a Comment