TV critic and novelist Philip Purser dies aged 96 after battle with Alzheimer’s disease

TV critic and novelist Philip Purser, who wrote thrillers and saw action in Italy and the Middle East with the Royal Engineers, dies aged 96 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease

  • Mr. Purser was one of the industry’s longest-serving critics
  • Born in 1925 in Hertfordshire, he is survived by his wife Ann and their three children
  • Mr Purser had a successful career at the Mail and the Sunday Telegraph

Journalist and novelist Philip Purser, a former television critic for the Daily Mail, has died aged 96.

Mr. Purser was one of the industry’s longest-serving critics and a vocal opponent of Mary Whitehouse’s National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association. He went on to write television thrillers and screenplays, including the 1978 documentary drama The One and Only Phyllis Dixey, which was nominated for five Baftas.

Born in 1925 in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, Mr Purser joined the Royal Engineers and fought in Italy and the Middle East.

Journalist and novelist Philip Purser, former Daily Mail TV critic, has died aged 96

Mr Purser, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease in his later years, died on August 1.  He is survived by his wife, crime novelist Ann Purser, and their three children.

Mr Purser, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in his later years, died on August 1. He is survived by his wife, crime novelist Ann Purser, and their three children.

In 1955 he was appointed assistant to Mail television critic Peter Black. He eventually received his own column and joined the Sunday Telegraph in 1961, where he remained for 26 years. He returned to criticism for the Mail in the 1980s and 1990s and became co-editor of Halliwell’s Television Companion.

Mr Purser, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in his later years, died on August 1. He is survived by his wife, crime novelist Ann Purser, and their three children.

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