Ex-BBC man victim of Ukraine crash

Glenn Thomas Glenn Thomas - a 'loved and respected colleague'

A former BBC journalist is among the nine Britons believed to have been on the Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed in Ukraine on Thursday.

Glenn Thomas, who worked for BBC World News for ten years, died together with all 298 people on board when flight MH17 came down in rebel-held territory.

The former output producer on BBC World News had gone on to be a communications officer at the World Health Organisation in Geneva, in which capacity he was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpar on his way to an Aids conference in Australia.

Richard Porter, controller of English services for BBC World Service Group, said it was 'a terrible tragedy'.

'He was a much loved and respected colleague and the BBC World News team are reeling from this very sad news about their friend.

'He was always passionate about telling the stories that mattered and could always turn his hand to whatever was asked - but most importantly he was a genuinely nice man.'

50th birthday plans

World News BJ Russell Trott, who worked with Thomas as part of the overnight team, described his friend and former colleague as 'one of the funniest, kindest and most sociable people around', who had been finalising arrangements for his 50th birthday celebrations in September.

'In fact, his fiftieth year was turning into a year-long celebration, with his partner, Claudio Villaca-Vanetta, organising surprise events and social get-togethers,' said Trott.

'For all those relatives and friends who've lost loved ones, this is a very sad time, and none more so than Glenn's friends here at the BBC.'

Aziz Rashid, the head of BBC North West, also remembered a 'great colleague and a real gent'.

'I've been talking to friends who knew him this morning and remembering what a fun loving person he was,' he added.

'We worked on the American election in Washington in 2000 when there was no result on election night in the Bush Vs Gore battle. It was incredibly busy and stressful but we all had great fun doing it.'

After leaving the BBC, Thomas had worked with aid agencies in Malawi, helping some of the world's most deprived people.

At the WHO, he was involved in a range of projects including the fight against Polio, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

As well as his partner, Thomas leaves a twin sister, Tracey.


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