Journalist, Lex Brown, found dead from suspected fall

A JOURNALIST who took retirement just four months ago, after almost 40 years in regional newspapers, has been found dead.

Lex Brown was found this morning at his home, in Irvine, Ayrshire. It is understood he may fallen down the stairs of his home. The 63 year-old lived alone, following the death, a number of years ago, of his wife, Myra.

As reported on, he stepped down in September from his post as chief reporter at the Irvine Herald, where he had been part of the editorial team for over 30 years. Prior to that, he was a reporter at the Irvine Times.

Brown, it is understood, had recently begun to act as press advisor to Irvine MP, Brian Donohoe.

Says Alan Woodison, regional titles group editor at MediaScotland, publisher of the Irvine Herald: “The nationals knew there was only one person to call when a major story broke in Irvine. It was Lex’s patch, pure and simple.”

Woodison continued: “He had a knack of second-guessing what would happen next when working on a developing story, and getting it right.

“Such was his reputation that people in Irvine who had a gripe with the council or a big company wouldn’t threaten to go to the papers …it was Lex Brown they were going to.”

Send your tributes here.

I first met Lex Brown in 1978 when he was the firebrand senior reporter and FOC of the Irvine Herald newspaper and I was a trainee journalist. I couldn’t have landed a better role model. He was something of an original – sometimes gruff, always up to something and incredibly good at finding a splash.

He was a bit eccentric and famous for his love of fine food and his ability to conjure up three-course meals on the little office cooking ring, then, in latter years, in the microwave.

Lex was a true legend at the Irvine Herald and, although the town is fairly small, by all accounts he never compromised a story at the risk of ruffling local feathers.

I was lucky enough to count Lex as a colleague for a few years in Irvine and then as a close and constant friend for more than 30 years after I left the paper.

Lex was a founder member of a very exclusive club which met in Irvine’s Delta Bar from time to time; all members had to show their prescription for Alluprinol (gout medicine).

Yes – the Gout Club was an exclusive grouping and I was proud to become a member along with Lex and a few other avid port drinkers back in 1992.

Lex was so looking forward to his travels to Australia and the USA following his retirement, but sadly his sudden death has dashed what would have been a wonderful adventure for Lex – supping fine wines and dining on all sorts of gourmet cuisine in foriegn climes.

As Lex might have said, had he the chance: “That’s all for now Dear Boy, toot, toot.”

Ally McLaws, director of communications, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

So very sad to hear of the tragic death of Lex Brown. I had known him since my first day in newspapers when I joined the Irvine Times as a trainee 40 years ago.

Lex was an ‘old school’ journalist and a master of his craft.

Nothing ever happened in Irvine without him knowing about it. He reported without fear or favour but always with fairness and accuracy. Scotland has lost a highly-respected journalist.

Derek Masterton, media relations officer for the British Red Cross in Scotland, former assistant news editor with the Daily Record

Professional, humorous, cantankerous, knowledgable, honest and a man of great integrity.

Lex certainly kept the communications team at North Ayrshire Council on our toes and we did have a few notable differences of opinions over the years.

OK, sometimes it was downright disagreements, but Lex was always the consummate ‘old school’ newspaper man – focused on accuracy, fairness and getting the ‘scoop’.

He was very much admired by all within the communications team and will be sadly missed.

Lynne McEwan, communications manager, North Ayrshire Council

What can I say? So, so sorry to hear of Lex”s passing… A superb journalist, at times a rascal.. had a few runs in with him,but … loved the ‘sod’.

Ken Ferguson, photographer