This page is dedicated to the memory of Nick Milligan, Managing Director of Sky Media, who died tragically with his young daughter in a boating accident in Cornwall on
5 May 2013.

Everyone at Sky has been shocked and saddened by this terrible event. We are doing everything we can to support Nick’s family at this very difficult time.

We have also been inundated and moved by the many tributes and messages of support from the many people who knew Nick from across the media industry and beyond. This page has been created to provide a public place where friends and colleagues can offer their condolences and share their fondest memories of Nick.

We will pass on all messages we receive to Nick’s family. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with them – and we hope that these tributes will provide some comfort as they come to terms with their loss.

If you would like to leave a message or share a story or photo, please email them to  tributes@bskyb.com and we’ll publish them below.


Your messages

Jeremy Darroch, Sky | 8 May

As I reflect on my memories of Nick, his integrity, professionalism and charm shine through. He was a hugely popular figure, both within Sky and across the industry, and this has been reflected in the sheer number and warmth of the tributes we’ve seen to him.

Nick made a very significant contribution to our business and to the wider TV industry. Since joining Sky in 2004, Nick transformed Sky Media. He created a brilliant team in London, Manchester and Dublin, who I firmly believe are the best in the business. He was rightly proud of this achievement.

Along the way, Nick touched the lives of many people here at Sky and beyond. He was a great mentor and role model for young people entering the business, and provided wise counsel to me and to the rest of the senior leadership team.

Nick was a key part of the Sky story and his legacy will endure for many years to come. More importantly, he was a great friend and devoted family man who will be sorely missed.

Above all else, our priority is to do everything we can to support Victoria, Amber, Olivia, Kit and the rest of Nick’s family at this incredibly difficult time. I know they will be comforted by the love and best wishes from friends and colleagues.


Barney Francis, Sky | 8 May

A glint in his eye, a smile on his face, a tongue in his cheek – that's how I'll remember Nick, one of the great characters of Sky.

I first came across him on the SLDP course, presenting to a room of us wannabes, and his performance was as funny as it was inspiring. Once I got to know Nick more it was clear that this magnetism was what served him so well on the frontline. He made you want to work with him, to help Sky media however you could, and I'm certain he had a similarly significant impact on the outside.

The Bank Holiday weekend was one that anyone who knew Nick will never forget. A tragic event that makes you hug your children a little longer, drive a little slower, live life a little fuller.

We miss you Milly.


John Ryley, Sky | 8 May

Nick was a first rate colleague - always very reasonable, understanding and made us laugh.


Graham McWilliam, Sky | 8 May

The great thing about my memories of Nick is that they all make me smile. Whether that's his legendary efforts to explain how TV advertising works without explaining anything, a late night in the bar chewing over the latest industry gossip, or just chatting about our families. It was always fun, and always with that mischievous Milly glint in his eye. I'll miss you mate; we all will.


Nick Herm, Sky | 8 May

I will miss Nick tremendously. A wonderful family man to a wonderful family – our thoughts are with them all.

I have worked with many fantastic people in my time at Sky, but Nick was undoubtedly one of the kindest and most generous; a true gentleman and a first class executive who never lost sight of the importance of people.

I have learnt a lot over the years from Nick and enjoyed every minute of working with him. To say that he had the ability to make any message sound compelling is an understatement. He really had a special way with words.

Several years ago, when Nick and I had only been working together for a relatively short time, I moved to Wandsworth, not far from his house. He knew that I had just had my first child and the day after we moved in, there was a bottle of champagne on the doorstep and a gift for the baby with a note “welcome, to the ‘hood”. This sums Nick up perfectly – pure class.

Sky won’t be the same without him, but it is undoubtedly different today because of him.

Nick - thank you for everything.


Rob Webster, Sky | 8 May

It is difficult to know where to start when paying tribute to Nick. He was a man who was totally professional, enormously respected both within and outside of Sky and was singularly focussed in all that he did. And he was, as we all know and have read, extremely good at his job.

But I will always remember the other aspects of his character, which made him the man he was, and which truly set him apart as a human being. Because Nick was someone whose zest for life was so visible, so tangible and so very infectious.

It is often said about people that they have a magnetism, that they light up a room when they enter it, that others are drawn to that person like moths to a light. That was Nick. He simply had a wonderful way with people. His effortless charm, his calmness, his mischievous boyish grin and his extremely varied (often inappropriate!) story telling caused people to throw their head back in uncontrollable laughter. If you saw the name Nick Milligan placed near yours at a work function, you just knew you were in for an evening of fun, and chat about the important things in life.

Nick, you touched my life, and that of my family, in such a rich way and I will forever be grateful for that. I have no doubt that, in time, you will be briefing The Almighty on world affairs, will bamboozle him with jargon with your usual panache and flair, will explain how some countries are up and some are down, but overall the outlook is broadly flat.

Rest in Peace, my friend.


Sophie Turner Laing, Sky | 8 May

Milli was truly one of the good guys. Focused, huge fun, passionate about the business and his team and, above all, devoted to his family. I will miss him more than I can say.


Nick Gregory, Sky | 8 May

Our thoughts and prayers reach out to Nick’s family and friends at this very difficult time. The sudden tragic loss of both Nick and Emily is shared by everyone who had the privilege and pleasure to meet and work with him at Sky. He truly was the most professional, charming, charismatic person you could ever wish to meet and he will be missed by colleagues and an industry, which will seem a lesser place without him. His legacy and the memories will however live on.


Didier Lebrat, Sky | 8 May

I always enjoyed interacting with Nick, the highly respected boss at 123 Buckingham Palace Road, particularly when our teams jointly delivered the new Sky Media system a couple of years ago. Or, more recently, in the running of the innovative Sky AdSmart solution he was sponsoring.

Charismatic, funny, driven and a team player, this is how I would describe Nick. And I still don't know how he could keep his suit so impeccable when popping in at the Exec meeting on Monday morning having just ridden his BMW 1200GS in torrential rain.

Au revoir Milly.


Jeremy Tester, Sky | 9 May

Nick Milligan: My boss and friend...A beacon of energy, enthusiasm and good manners. Decent, respectful and with time for everyone he met. He must have been tired sometimes, but he never let it show. He thought he had lots of weaknesses and was never fully convinced of his strengths. That’s why we loved him so much and will miss him every single day.


Ian Lewis, Sky | 9 May

My first experience of Nick was having to negotiate with him for TV airtime. A huge personality, always great fun, fair, generous and a pleasure to be with – but still very formidable once it came to the business end of any deal. He was always someone you knew you had to be very prepared for and even then, you’d need to expect the unexpected. From the moment he joined Sky in 2004 it always felt more comfortable knowing he was sitting our side of the table.

An amazing ability to entertain and turn even a humdrum anecdote into the funniest story and always with that glint in his eye that said “I know something that none of the rest of you know”. His “Blind Date” story remains one of the funniest things I have ever heard, even though I’ve heard it many times.

He was always very down to earth, approachable by all and never let you down. He will be missed by many. more people that he could have possibly imagined.

Rest In Peace Nick. And thank you for the support, fun and kindness over many years.


Robin Crossley, Sky | 9 May

So many wonderful tributes have already been written about Nick that it’s difficult to find adequate words to do justice to his professional and yet disarmingly personable approach to life and work. And, as has already been mentioned, always a glint in those smiling eyes. As Nick himself might have said 'industry down 10, sky flat' Very flat. God bless Nick and Emily.


Charles Jackson, Labrador Films | 9 May

When he arrived at TVS, Nick Milligan stood out in more ways than one! His height for one thing, his effortless charm and ability for another but it was difficult to feel jealous in any way, rather it was a joy to work with him. He was a pretty good snooker player as well. Even though our paths had not crossed for around 15 years, he will still be missed!


Mark Grenside, MNG Films | 9 May

Laughter, mischief, hunger for new challenges, true friendship and above all a boundless pride and love of his family. We must all remember that love to help Victoria and the children. God's speed to you both. Love Mark and Kirsten Grenside.


Sara Johnson, Keshet International | 9 May

I was lucky enough to spend 3 years of my early career as part of Dawn Airey’s initial C5 pre-launch team working in drama for Corinne Hollingworth. I remember Nick as a funny charming man who I had and still have never heard anything but lovely things about. He inspired his sales team and everyone beyond that and I am honoured to have known him there and at Sky. Many years on and still working in TV, it is the mother and wife in me writing a tribute, feeling almost overwhelmingly sad for his family and their friends in having to deal with this awful tragedy. My heart goes out to them all and I wish them the benefit of time and the support of those around them to find peace and health as they put themselves back together.


Sonia Khanna, Sky | 9 May

Nick - such a gentle, caring person. I miss seeing your smiling face. I hope you and Emily are at peace together.


John Hambley | 9 May

Nick was a colleague and friend at Thames Television, and the obvious choice when I was looking for Channel 5’s first sales director. He was a brilliant and decisive executive whose charm, grace and personal generosity are unforgettable. My wife taught Victoria briefly and remembers her great beauty and serenity, which will always endure. They and their children are constantly in our thoughts.


Hughie Devine, Sky Ireland | 9 May

Although I am not in Senior Management in Ireland, I still had the incredible pleasure of meeting Nick Milligan when he and Jeremy would visit twice a year.

We all felt so humbled to be in the presence of Nick, especially in the relaxed environment of a Dublin pub.

On all occasions, he was so outgoing and responsive to us.

I had many a conversation with him on the wonders of Sky Atlantic (most notably Game of Thrones).

Most vitally, he made us, in Ireland, feel a part of the overall Sky team and effort. This really motivated us as a team to become the best.

As a person who hopes to progress in Sky, I will always hold Nick as the Boss/Leader I aspire to become in the future.

He will never be forgotten on this side of the British Isles also.

Thanks Nick,

Hughie


Julie Bourne, Sky | 9 May

I first heard about Milly from Henbird at Channel 5 and as soon as he joined Sky he showed why he was so well liked and respected.

On a work level his knowledge was second to none, his presentation style engaging, always delivered with such flair.

On a personal level he would often regale great stories of people he engaged with outside of Sky. I gave up reading Ok as his life was much more interesting.

One story that springs to mind that truly shows Milly’s character is an email went out saying "the sink was blocked".

Five minutes later I’m in the kitchen and Milly has his sleeves rolled up ready to unblock the sink...(says it all.)

Milly will be greatly missed and my heartfelt thoughts go out to his wife, daughters and son and this incredibly difficult time.


Lucy Bristowe, Sky | 9 May

Nick was the greatest leader I have encountered in my career – he had a rare blend of statesmanlike qualities but understood the detail and could appeal to everyone of all ages and levels within an organisation. 8 years ago, I wasn't really sure whether to leave Channel 4 and join Sky or not – walking home one evening I received a call on my mobile phone – it was Nick – come and work for us he said...and so I did. No matter how busy he was, Nick always responded to emails, even with a simple 'Thanks', he was never arrogant or rude and made time for everyone, no matter who they were. Thank you for all your support – Sky Media just won't be the same.


Jeremy Lee, Haymarket | 9 May

Nick was one of the kindest, funniest and most talented people in the media industry. As a junior reporter he helped and encouraged me with my career - for no particular personal gain. He was just generous like that. Thanks for everything Nick, and Rest In Peace.


Tess Alps, Thinkbox | 10 May

At this time of almost unbearable pain for so many, it helps a little to remember the good times and the good things that Milly created. Clever, funny, kind, loyal, generous, handsome (let's not forget that one); he was a man you could put your trust in. Thinkbox would not exist without Milly's championing of it, and I certainly wouldn't be there without his promises that he was in it for the long haul. The word that I think of most is 'family'. He always talked about his family; Victoria and the kids of course, but also his wider family, back in Somerset and elsewhere. Then there's the family he created at Sky, an amazing team shaped and inspired by him. But his advertising family is bigger still, with many friends and ex-colleagues who count Milly as a brother. I send all of his families my deepest sympathy. And to Milly, thanks, love and rest in peace, dear friend.


Jonathan Hill, Kentaro | 10 May

Nick, along with Peter Shea, was my first Sales Controller at Thames TV where the two of them helped create and nurture a fantastically close-knit sales team from which many careers and life-long friendships were launched and all of those many friends and colleagues will be devastated at the loss of such an influential, supportive and kind friend and mentor. It is hard to believe neither is with us today.

For the past few years Nick took the initiative to organise a reunion lunch for his Thames pals, David, David, Kelly, Whitey and I and I cannot imagine the table at 34 without him to be honest. Nick was of course always full of nonsense over lunch and we would generally take the mickey where we could but he always, always took it in great spirit and I think he just loved the chance for some simple banter away from the more serious aspects of his working life. His smile, laugh and mischievous sense of humour were his trademark.

There are so many more stories, so much more that could be said but in the end no words to describe the loss of Nick and Emily but as a family we send all our love and support for Victoria and the kids and hope and pray that we can somehow help them to move forward.

Rest in peace Nick, you were a top, top man.


Claire Wotherspoon and Chris Egan | 10 May

We worked in IT at Channel 5 when Nick was Director of Sales - he was a real star, and always brought out the best in people. He was professional, fun and a real positive life force, it was always a pleasure to work with him. He was known as a bit of a 'gadget boy' often coming down with the latest mobile device asking us to enable it to receive corporate email - and we always did because it was for him...


Stephen Miron, Global | 10 May

For those of us who have only ever ploughed our trade on the media owner side Nick was always a fantastic role model and a true legend. Suave, entertaining, charismatic, charming, entrepreneurial, inspirational, and so the list could go on and on.

I only have truly fun memories of the quality time I got to spend with Nick, predominantly on the golf course, where he was always great company regardless of the way he was playing!

He was always there for you if needed and now we need to ensure that we're there for him.

I now really understand the meaning of the word tragic.


Ralph Tribe, Sky | 10 May

Whenever I think of Nick it makes me smile.

He was brilliant, always had the inside track (or claimed to have :-) ), and generally just a fun person to be around...so much so that if I was ever in the vicinity - or even if I wasn’t really - I would always make a detour to the Victoria office to see everyone, and hope to find Nick there.

Even if he was generally just back from lunch and climbing out of his leathers you always felt he was genuinely pleased to see you, and he always found the time to swap news (some of which I’m sure he made up just to be cheeky!).

The thing I liked most about Nick though, was that for all his obvious achievements you never got the sense he ever got carried away by it...and always got the sense he had his priorities right...which seemed to be something like this; Family...Team...Fun...Lunch...Success (the latter probably a product of the first four).

Nick let the light in. I bet Emily did too. I like to think they are together somewhere, laughing in the sunshine.


Sarah Simon, Berenberg Bank | 10 May

Lunching with Nick was always a highlight of the day. He was funny, charming, well informed, interested, kind, and with a magic spark that all those of you reading this page will remember, but which cannot be adequately described in words. I will miss his insight into the industry, his thoughts on where it’s all going, and on the banter that made being around him such a great experience. We will all miss you.


Sal Gunny, Sky | 10 May

Where others may not have found the time, Nick did. Where others may have been reluctant, Nick would show his wholehearted support. With it, we were able to achieve so much more. He had vision. He was able to see the bigger picture, the different sides to the equation and to steer a path through it, of course with no small degree of charm and bafflement along the way. And he did it in such an infectious and positive way, you couldn’t fail to enjoy the journey. That for me was the man he was. Great to be with, brilliant to work with. He was a true leader and an inspiration to so many. He will be sorely missed.


Alun Webber, Sky | 10 May

I feel privileged to have worked with Nick. In a tough job Nick not only knew the game, but more importantly he knew how the game should be played. Humour and a smile were never very far away when you were working with Nick, and although he was always striving to win he was always true to the maxim of treating triumph and disaster just the same. Before writing this I reread "If", and it struck me how well it describes the man I knew and admired. Sky will not be the same without you, and I will miss your wit and wisdom in equal measure. Rest in Peace.


Charlie & Claire Caminada | 10 May

Claire and I were stunned to hear the news of Nick and his daughter's deaths and the awful tragedy of the whole accident with such terrible injuries to Victoria and Kit. Our hearts go out to them and thoughts and prayers are with them.


Josh Fuller, SMW Group | 10 May

When I think about the times when I saw Nick in work mode, the one thing that always struck me was his ability to treat everyone in the same courteous, charming manner whether they were some big cheese or the junior trainee. It reminds me of Kipling's If. . . "If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue. Or walk with kings nor lose the common touch". We have lost a prince amongst men, but were all the better for knowing him.


Vince Russell, Sky | 10 May

I feel hugely fortunate and privileged to have had the opportunity to work with Nick - though if I’m honest it never really felt like work when spending time with him. It’s been said elsewhere but thinking of Nick always brings a smile to your face and an amusing story to mind. He always had a way of putting everybody immediately at ease and lighting up a room with that constant twinkle in his eye.

Only recently we sat together at a dinner where he talked at length of his enormous devotion to his wonderful family and his love for the area in Cornwall where he and his family suffered such a horrific and shocking tragedy. He was a guy who counted his blessings, had a great sense of what was important in life and lived life to the full. You couldn’t help but be inspired to try and be a better version of yourself having spent time with him. His zest for life was completely infectious.

The world is a far poorer place for his passing. My huge heartfelt sympathies go out to his family who have to come to terms with the events of that fateful day and life without Nick and Emily. Rest in peace.


James Ewart | 10 May

Having known Nick since school where we wasted away lessons sitting next to each other, learning to forge each others signatures, I was pleased to remain in touch over the years.

We had lunch together just two weeks before the accident (Nick paid) and it came as a terrible shock to hear about this tragic accident.

Mostly over lunch we discussed Cornwall, where we have both enjoyed spending time in the Summer, and his family.

"Why don't we hook up for a game of Golf this year as we're going to be there at the same time?" I suggested.

"I'd love to" he replied "but it's family time for me".

That sums it up.

My deepest, most profound sympathies to all of his family.

Bye Nick.


Stewart Easterbrook, SMV Group | 10 May

The last time I met Nick we shared a joke or two, talked about Cornwall holidays and our families. He proudly showed me photos of his family and his house in Trebetherick. He invited us over next time we were down that way. As I know he did with many others. Nick had a true generosity of spirit. Such decency.

Nick also spoke with his normal intelligence and vision about goings on in the media world. He had some typically interesting ideas for how our businesses could partner one another. All his observations delivered with style and integrity. But that was not surprising. Nick was exceptionally good at his job.

That's how I will remember Nick. And in that order. Now Rest in Peace Nick, you were a good man.

All my thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Nick's family, close friends and colleagues.


Chris Stylianou, Sky | 10 May

As has already been said, Nick was one of the good guys - there was nothing bad about him. He was always charming, always willing to enjoy life and always able to make you smile - qualities you very rarely find in people these days. That's what made him stand out. That's what I will remember him most for.

It was also obvious that he doted on his wife and his family. Something else that was great about him.

It is a tragic loss, one that leaves a hole for us all and makes you think about enjoying life a little bit more.

Rest in peace, Nick & Emily.

Mark Howe, Google | 10 May

Nick remains an inspiration & a friend & always will be.
In a business built on personal relationships none can match his network, his charm & his ability to make you feel really special - even when you knew he was bullshitting you.
His gift was his warmth & his passion.
He loved his toys. I will never forget his childlike excitement when he first got his Harley Davidson & how we would pop down to the River in Barnes for a cheeky lunch with me his glamorous passenger hanging on for dear life, pretending it was fun.
So many great memories from days at Thames & UKGold, before & after, I'd love to re-tell them but simply couldn't publish. Rest assured they are epic & quintessentially Milly & will always be with me.
Miss him.


Julia Jordan, UKTV | 10 May

It seems Nick has been a constant presence throughout my career; ever present, always a gentleman, knowledgeable kind and witty. The fantastically impressive Sky Media team both in UK and through UKTV relationship with Sky Media Ireland, are a credit to the professionalism and commitment of Nick. Like everyone that knew and worked with Nick, I am totally shocked by this devastating accident and it is so hard to find words.
My heart goes out to his family and my deepest sympathy to all his many friends and colleagues too.


Matthew Imi, At The Races | 10 May

I only properly met Nick on one occasion and that was only a few months ago over a very enjoyable lunch with him and Richard Hawking. Nick made an instant impression. Hugely experienced, charismatic, great company and a tremendous ambassador for Sky. I can only imagine how his colleagues who worked with him on a daily basis must now be feeling. Please accept the condolences of everyone at At The Races and our thoughts at this sad time are very much with Nick, Emily, their family and friends.


Martin Plant, Global | 10 May

A talented, intelligent, funny, charismatic, and above all, a wonderful person who will be greatly missed. Puts what we do into perspective, and rightly so. Words are hard to find but lots of good memories, and now lots of thoughts for the family.


Steve Venes, John Ayling and Associates | 10 May

I knew Milly for the best part of 30 years, a true gent.

We were both “Bikers” (from different sides of the tracks!),
He rode a ridiculous BMW, I always told him to get a proper bike.
We would occasionally meet up on the road and we’d stop and have a chat about family, bikes and work…in that order.
The last time we had lunch he showed me pictures of his wonderful “pad” down in Rock, he wasn’t showy about it, it was just a massive passion.
I had an enormous amount of respect for Nick, he had it all. He was almost embarrassed about how successful he’d become, but in my mind still he remained the same guy I met all those years ago.
Overall the love he gave his family was the real key to his life.

Nick. Rest in Peace.



David Cuff, Latest TV | 10 May

I dealt with Nick over many years from Thames via UKTV to Five and Sky - sometimes as a customer, sometimes as a competitor and sometimes as a collaborator. He was consistently excellent, creative, charming, honest and effective. Rare for someone from the sales side - he always took the bigger picture, whole company view and clearly understood how all the parts and interests of his organisation and his counterparts worked; and created really innovative solutions to move things forward for all parties. He also was very canny in finessing what was going on outside his realm - carriage deals, programme deals, advertisers' business, agency politics, regulators and the commentators - so his total broadcast marketplace knowledge was probably beyond anyone else he dealt with. He rightfully enjoyed great success and did so in a modest manner.


Jon Sichel, Scripps Networks | 10 May

While I only got to know Nick recently with my arrival in the UK, I was lucky to have had the chance to share in his good business sense, charm, and all-around decency. His positive spirit will stay firmly grounded in all of us.


Paul Rowlinson, Mindshare | 10 May

I saw Nick just over a week ago. As ever, he was the friendly, charming and utterly professional gentleman many of us have had the good fortune to know for many years. We were talking business but, as always, we found a moment to talk about our families and to look forward to a day at the cricket later this summer. It was great to see him.

As a professional Nick was someone I had the utmost respect and admiration for. He did things the right way and with an unrivalled style. As a man, it is his warmth and generosity of spirit that will always remain with me when I think of him. On a personal level, he was always giving of his time, happy to share his views and offer support and advice. I feel very fortunate to have spent time with him over the years. He was the most charming and charismatic man you could wish to meet, always ready with a smile and a kind word.

So, it was a privilege to have known you Nick. You were a true gentleman. The very best. My thoughts and sympathies are with your family. I can’t find words to describe the sadness I have for the loss of your beloved Emily.

Nick, I will miss you very much.


Andrew Greaves, The Idea Hunter | 10 May

It is my privilege to have known Nick since his days at Thames TV. Our paths criss-crossed constantly over the next 20+ years with many highlights along the way. World Cup matches, and vodka drinking, in Poland. Countless rain-sodden school events on Trinity Fields. Boozy New Year Eves in Trebetherick lit up by laughter and fireworks. Not many hosts would have been happy to welcome and nourish our merry band of 52!

Sadly, life can be random and unfair. On Sunday the 5th May 2013 it was also plain wrong.

Never to be forgotten.


Sue Ballantine, Sky | 10 May

My memories of Nick will be of the most charming man and true gentleman, who had time for everyone and I will miss his happy smiling face. Sky will not be the same without you Nick.


David Croft, Carat | 10 May

How Nick managed to combine so much warmth, intelligence, calm and leadership in one person is something that I will probably never understand, but he did and everyone who worked with him or could count themselves as a friend of his will understand what I mean. I worked with Nick for five years at Thames Television and our paths crossed many times thereafter – not as often as I would have wished, but I enjoyed every single occasion when they did. He was not only at the top of his chosen profession; he was also just a top bloke.

Rest in peace, Nick and Emily.


Dean C Weller, Generation Media | 10 May

I have known Nick for nearly 25 years and the news of his and beloved daughter's sudden and tragic death has deeply saddened me. Especially as I spent a very pleasant evening with him only last Wednesday at his traditional Berry Bros. dinner. My thoughts and sympathies along with those of my colleagues at Generation Media and our clients go out obviously to his family and close friends but also to his extended family at Sky Media where he built a formidable Business and a loyal tight-knit team. Nick was an innovator, a leader and hugely respected. He was also, as has been said on this page a number of times, a true Gentleman. He will be a profound loss to the UK Advertising and Television business.


Elizabeth Lewis, Riviera Radio | 10 May

In the late 1980s, I remember the day Nick Milligan was introduced to the sales floor at Thames TV by Peter Shea and Jonathan Shire. From day one it was obvious he was going to fit into this already close-nit team, as Jonty Hill has said above, and quickly became our favourite leader and part of the essence of Thames. There are so many memories, including the sales conference in New York in 1988: I still have the photos of a number of rather worse-for-wear junior and senior sales staff, including Nick, sitting on the floor of a hotel room in the wee hours, ties skewed, mini-bar emptied. I’m sure many will agree that Nick Milligan was an inspiration, role-model and friend to us lowly sales execs at that time and beyond. He managed to strike the right balance between work and fun and always had a good reputation socially as well as professionally. It was a pleasure to work with him again at the Stevens Company when we were employed to find sales staff for the Channel 5 start-up - although busy and important, Nick always remained approachable and friendly. I think of him as media industry royalty. He knew how to bring the old-school, monopoly-based bullishness forward into the fragmented 21st century, with an innate understanding of how to achieve the fusion and, of course, the results – and all the time with that glint in his eye. My deepest sympathy and condolences go out to the family at this most appallingly difficult time.


David Harrison, RSMB | 10 May

I met Nick by the lift at Thames Television in February 1988 and saw him for the last time in his office at Sky last Thursday, 25 years later. For the first 15 years of that intervening period we saw one another pretty much every working day.

We developed one of those precious, rare relationships where we instinctively knew who did what. In reality this amounted to him picking up anything remotely interesting or high-profile and me mopping up the dull stuff. That was absolutely fine by me.

We worked hard, made some life-long friends and achieved quite a lot - at Thames, at UK Gold and particularly at Channel 5. Underpinning it all though, we laughed. Every day, sometimes until it hurt.

He was compelling, frustrating, inspirational, kind, convincing, loyal, mischievous, smart, generous, charismatic and I’ll miss him more than I can begin to imagine.

Last week as I left Nick’s office he gave me one of those ludicrous bear-hugs. I was driving to the south-west that evening while he and the family were to follow 24 hours later. I simply can’t grasp that he won’t be coming back.

All our thoughts and love are with Victoria and the family.


Greg McConkey, PHD | 10 May

I have met Nick over the years and I found him to be a genuinely nice, honest, funny and decent man. I will miss his company.


Simon Robson, Sky | 10 May

Charm, generosity and a sense of fun are the things I will remember about Nick. Each in bucket loads.

Having known of Nick for many years, I only worked closely with him for the past couple of years and I am immensely glad I had the opportunity to do so.

Nick’s warmth was what set him apart. He always wanted to know how you were, how the family were doing and he genuinely cared – he always found time for you. For everyone. I’ll remember every Monday, in our catch-up meetings, seeing his face always light up when telling tales of the weekend just spent in Cornwall with his family.

His passion for Sky, for his industry and for his team shone through, which made him a wonderful person to learn from. No meeting with Nick was ever dull and it always made me smile watching his fellow execs desperately trying, and failing, to get one step ahead of him. He knew exactly what he was doing and he did it brilliantly. It was a privilege and a joy to sit alongside Nick these past couple of years.

But most of all he did it all with a smile (often cheeky or mischievous), with kindness and with care – the world shouldn’t lose people like Nick.


Andrew Porter, Brunswick | 10 May

I got to know Nick when he was at Channel 5 and remained in touch ever since. In 2004 I wrote about his move to Sky Media in the Sunday Times business section. I was pleased with my scoop. Nick was pleased because he said his mum had rung up that morning to say that she liked the photograph. That meant much more to him than the buzz the move created in the industry. Great fun. Great company. Greatly missed.


Stuart Rock, Caspian Media | 10 May

I only met Nick once. But on what an occasion! We were both guests of Red Bull at the Brazil Grand Prix of 2011. He was sharp, funny, courteous and wonderful company. A lovely man with a real passion for Formula 1 (and, as pictured here, also for cold beers).



Sue Farr, Chime | 10 May

Nick, you are so much in my thoughts. I am remembering all our happy times together at Thames and launching UK Gold – what fun that was!

You were so welcoming to this “newbie” when I joined Thames, a typical Millie trait. Working with you and Mano was just a joy.

What’s happened is beyond belief, the whole industry is praying for you and your family right now. We miss you. All my love, Sue Farr.

Nick Manning, Ebiquity | 10 May

Words still fail me, and I certainly couldn't improve on what has been written here. The Nick that we all knew and loved has been captured beautifully by these tributes.

Our loss is nothing compared to his family's, and we can only hope that time will heal their pain.

Our industry will not be the same without him.


Mandy Pooler, WPP | 10 May

I shall always remember Nick as a twinkly-eyed, happy presence, a charming rogue and an honest trader, a party animal and a family man, a consummate professional and a man who knew there was much more to life than work. It was always a pleasure to spot his tall presence across a crowded room and to know you would get a warm hug and sincere enquiries as to your health and welfare, lots of jokes and a great discussion on, above all, the joys of family life. Nick waited rather longer than the rest of us to marry and have children, and it brought him greater joy than anything in a life that was full and successful. My thoughts and sympathy are with the family he loved so much.


Sue Unerman | 10 May

I've known Nick my whole career. He was undoubtedly the toughest man I bought airtime from. And also one of the smartest. We've always stayed in touch even when I stopped buying airtime and like everyone else I will miss him a lot for his generosity, warmth, courtesy, acumen and openness to other points of view.


Michael Horner, M&L Associates | 10 May

Nick was a total professional and gentleman, a rare combination that will be missed by everyone who was lucky enough to have met him. My thoughts are now with his dear family and I hope they gain strength from these wonderfully heartfelt messages of tribute.


Sarah Mansfield, Unilever | 13 May

My interactions with Nick span only a relatively short period of time but I always found him to be a welcoming and warm hearted man, who had a real passion for the industry and Sky. I continue to be sincerely shocked and saddened by the news and reminded of the fragility of life. My best wishes go to all his family, friends and colleagues at this immensely sad time.


Dan Clays, OMD | 13 May

A true gentleman, who I always looked up to and will always be an inspiration for me. He showed how wisdom, integrity and charm can be the key ingredients for success – not to mention the incredible loyalty he drew from those around him. He will be deeply missed, but always remembered. A top, top man.


Jeff Dodds, Virgin Media | 13 May

Milli, you never fail to make me smile, to make me think and to inspire me to be a better father and husband. I have wonderful memories to think back on, and I'll treasure every one of them.

One of the nicest, most generous people I've ever met. I'll miss you mate.


Fiona Bruce, BBC | 13 May

The world is a bleaker place without Nick in it. I can hardly bear to talk about him in the past tense but Nick was the kindest, warmest, funniest, most generous hearted of men. I expect he never realised how much he meant to so many people and to me. I had assumed Nigel and I would enjoy Nick's friendship into our dotage. I am broken hearted that that is not to be.


Robert Tansey, Sky | 13 May

One of the wonderful things about Milly – and there were many – was that he never took anything for granted. For someone who probably had access to pretty much any sporting event going, he still enjoyed every moment with the enthusiasm of an 8 year old. I’ll never forget a trip to the Masters a couple of years ago: he’d put his back out and was in a lot of pain, but still got up to cook everyone breakfast (in a very fetching pinny, I might add); chatted non-stop about how lucky he was to be there; and then the smile of wonder that lit up his face as he went through the gates into Augusta National was a sight to behold; ‘this is definitely one for the bucket-list,’ he said. Milly, I’m glad you got to tick it off.


Neil Alldritt | 13 May

It was a privilege to know Nick and an honour to be his friend. Loyal, funny, professional, wise, generous and kind - Nick would always have a solution to any problem readily at hand. We had lunch a few days before the accident, he showed me the latest photos of his beautiful family and we spoke of Cornwall. It was a 'vintage' lunch with much laughter and talk of the future. We hugged when we said goodbye.... His sudden and brutal disappearance from our lives is immeasurably cruel and difficult to come to terms with. It is my only wish that Victoria can slowly recover from the devastating loss of Nick and Emily - she is in all of our thoughts. RIP Nick and Emily.... Nick, I shall miss you terribly. x


Chris Nicholls, Q Media | 13 May

Nick was a man who had his priorities right. He was completely passionate about his family, unable to talk about them without a smile and sense of pride, and he cared deeply about his work colleagues at Sky as well as all his friends. These unique personable skills and intelligence made him highly respected and liked universally across the media business and with anyone else who met him.

From the day Nick employed me into Central television in the mid 80’s, right through our careers as work colleagues and trading partners, he always demonstrated humility and humour, and was as cool as a cucumber, when those around him were flapping around. No desk thumping, no preacher from the pulpit, just a smile, an injection of wit and an incredible insight.


Nick, you will be so dearly missed by everyone. You and Emily are together and I know will be watching over the rest of the family, in their time of sorrow and anguish.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Victoria, Amber, Olivia and Kit.


Polly Cochrane, Warner Bros. Entertainment UK | 13 May

I was first introduced to Nick by Tess some twenty or more years ago, when she invited him to do a presentation at PHD about multichannel TV. Immaculately turned out as ever, oozing confidence and charming everyone in the room, I remember thinking 'wow, he's a class act!' whilst simultaneously failing to take in what he was talking about.

Several years later, we got to work together as part of the Channel 5 launch team and it was there that I saw first hand the affection, respect and fierce loyalty he inspired from, and showed to, his team. I know it has been the same at Sky - he was tremendously proud of you all.

A passion fruit martini (or three) with Nick was always guaranteed to deliver laughs, disarming honesty and much affectionate talk of our many mutual friends. The last time we met, he talked openly of his love for his family and how meeting Victoria and having children had completely transformed his life for the better in every single way. He seemed so fulfilled and happy, so excited about the future, it's just almost impossible to compute the fact that he's gone.

Nick had a knack for leaving people feeling better about themselves - perhaps, in his memory, we should all try to do a little more of that as we struggle to come to terms with the enormous hole he has left in our industry and most painfully, the lives of those he loved so dearly.


Ian Lomas, Active International | 13 May

Living in OZ we tend to rely on the speed of global communications, this time the news received was heartbreaking and shocking.
It was on the journey home that I was told about the tragic accident that had occurred in the UK….and the family that it involved.
I was privileged to know Nick over many years from early days at Central TV up to the success he masterminded at Sky Media.
There are few in the media world that are known and recognised by so many as smart, passionate, business focused and purely professional...but with a heart of gold and a personality to match.
Nick Milligan was top of this table and will always be.
Like so many others he provided me with many memorable moments – thank you and God bless you mate.
My profoundest and sincere condolences go to Tory, the family and all the people who also had Nick in their world.


Dominic Carter, News International | 13 May

I have shared many funny and sometimes embarrassing moments with Nick but I will always remember him with great fondness for his generosity, his advice, the calm manner and integrity with which he went about his career and the smile on his face when he talked about his family.
His warmth as a person, his values and his obvious pride when he talked about Victoria and the children make you realise what a wonderful man he was; as a husband, a father, a friend and industry colleague.
You touched the lives of all of those that met you and were indeed, a rare human being that will be sorely missed by all of us.
Rest in peace.


John Cassy, Sky | 13 May

I first got to know Nick more than a dozen years ago – he was head of sales at Five, I was a writer on a national newspaper covering the media patch. We hit if off immediately, he was always joking, thoughtful and up for a gossip. He tirelessly tried to explain (or more likely bamboozle me) on the nuances of the airtime sales market. In a quirk of fate I later ended up writing a story that he was in the sights of Sky and less than a year after that we were working together. As a colleague he was always fun, upbeat, supportive and full of good advice. Recently my family moved to the other side of Wandsworth Common from his home and with a smirk he pledged to ‘keep an eye’ on us from the turret on his house. Wherever he is now I am sure he will be looking down on all of his family and friends with a smile and a glint in his eye, as well as reinventing the local airtime sales market. Milly, you are already missed and our thoughts are with your family. Rest In Peace.


Conor Acquah, Sky | 13 May

Nick or ‘Milly’ as he was fondly known was one of those rare leaders who’s warmth and empathy always shined through despite the stresses his level of work must have given him. I’ve worked at Sky Media for nearly four years and although we didn’t have a day in day out working relationship I always thought of him of one of the good guys and someone I had tremendous respect for – he was one of those speakers who you would never tire of listening to, always compelling with an almost showbiz style. As has been said on this page many times, one of his best qualities was always having time for anyone and everyone. He would always greet you with a warm smile and glint his eye – A devoted family man who genuinely loved life it’s so sad what happened, he will be sorely missed.

I will never forget the sorrow I felt on hearing the tragic news on that Bank Holiday weekend and my thoughts and prayers will be with the Milligan family at this very sad time.

 

Miranda Acland | 13 May

I worked with Nick for 5 years at Thames TV, and remained friends with him both as a work colleague in the media industry and as a local who lived up the road in Wandsworth. Nick arrived at Thames with a collaborative approach which was ahead of its time, while being totally on top of every detail of his job. He was a good friend for 25 years and always great company. He had a strong sense of what was right, a caring nature, and a real sense of fun. He also adored his family and seemed to have his life worked out perfectly.

I am struggling to accept that such a kind and gentle friend should have met such a sudden and violent death. He will be missed by so many people across the industry and at home. I send Nick, Emily and the rest of the family all my love.


Graeme Canter, MediaCom | 13 May

My memory of Nick is of a lovely, friendly, and passionate guy. So enthusiastic about what he did and thoroughly believable when you spoke to him about anything. Just one of the good guys! I vividly recall playing a round of golf with him a few years ago and those 4 hours just flew by as we spoke about everything other than work. He had this great knack of putting everyone at ease. Sadly missed, but not forgotten.


Kevin Rusby, ITV | 13 May

Such a terrible tragedy. I had the pleasure of working with Nick at Thames TV for 4 years and will always remember him as Milli Vanilli for a reason I can't remember! He was a really good boss who always backed you to the hilt even when you might have messed up, he was always interesting to be around especially on Sales conferences and enjoyable company when you met him for Lunch.

My thoughts are with Nick’s family.


Andy Barnes | 13 May

Dear Nick,

It seems like only yesterday that I gave you your first job in the industry. That you justified your appointment a thousand times over and more is amply underlined by all the wonderful comments that people have made about you here-all of which I can only endorse.

When I think of you I think of you now I think of how I will miss your company. Of how I will miss your counsel. Of how I will miss your (still!!!) boyish charm and infectious enthusiasm. Of how I will miss the big bear hugs we shared so freely on meeting and leaving. But most of all I will just simply miss my friend.

I will never forget you as a person, as a colleague and rival, any of the many scrapes we got into and as the top, top bloke you always will be in my mind’s eye and ear. The imprint you left on all the people’s lives that you touched will never be forgotten. For me, it was a privilege.

Andy


Kathy Toher, Discovery | 13 May

I was fortunate to have Nick as one of my first bosses back at Thames TV, where we all worked and played so hard. He knew everyone and had time for everyone.

In the intervening years whenever our paths have crossed, I felt like I had just caught up with an old friend – not just an old boss.

I cannot begin to match all the wonderful words that have been said here, just to say I feel privileged to have known him, have some very funny memories and although I haven’t seen him that much in recent years, I thought I would be bumping into him for many years to come. He will be truly missed but will be remembered by an awful lot of people very fondly.

I pray that Victoria and the kids along with the rest of the family can overcome the physical wounds and face life with strength and remember they had him in their lives, even though it was far too short a time.

I will remember them and his ‘work’ family in my prayers, all of whom are hurting.


Jim Cavanagh | 13 May

One of the nicest guys I've known. My heart goes out to his wife and children.


Jerry Hill, Rajar | 14 May

Nick , You were a true role model in all aspects of your life.Your influence and memory will live on. You are still amongst us , take care!

Simon Bevan, Vizeum | 14 May

It was a privilege to know Nick, a real pro in business and also on the ski slopes! The industry is a lesser place without you. Take care my friend you will be greatly missed by all.

Nick Thorogood, Food Network | 14 May

It was so shocking to see Nick’s face on the news attached to such tragedy. My dealings with him were always so great – tough negotiations but undertaken with the correct spirit. I would look forward to lunches, meetings or events – Berry Brothers in particular - with him, and feel a huge sadness that he is gone. Kind and funny, but most of all decent – it is a huge loss.

My prayers and best wishes are with his family and friends.

Nick Thorogood, Food Network | 14 May

Milly

A good man in every sense of the word yet always such fun and mischief with a 'work hard, play harder' attitude. A man who clearly had everything he could have wished for and deserved it. The perfect work:life balance as he managed to make a great success both.

A gentleman who always set an excellent example in all areas of his life.

I will miss the great laughs we always had together, the Cornwall holidays, golf trips, entertaining lunches and dinners and wonderful fishing on the Test.

Rest in peace dear friend, I will miss you.

Martina King, Feature Space | 14 May

An impact in life and death Milly,
Clever, beautiful, brave.
And the fun we had Milly,
Slopes , beaches, raves.
Wish you were still here Milly,
Friend, Husband, Dad.
Such a loss for us all Milly,
Such a loss.

Nicola Bamford, Tata Sky, India | 14 May

My thoughts echo everyone else's.

Nick was the Grand Master of the Dark Arts. His adroit, urbane and utmost command of his role was marvellous to behold even if I never really understood some of the detail. After leaving Sky to go to Sky Deutschland and then Tata Sky India we stayed in touch. Nick was quick to address even the strangest requests and along the way provided often needed humour...His support was invaluable.

I saw him last in December, we swapped stories. Quite what extra "skinny" he thought I could add from Mumbai to his extensive network of friends, colleagues and "informers", I am not sure. But the outcome was good humoured, slightly scurrilous and thought provoking. I left feeling uplifted by Nick's positive view.

Nick gave his all to life; he was an inspiring leader who was at the top of his game. It's hard to believe we will never hear again that laugh or those explanations. Rest in peace.

Ann Paddick | 14 May

I had the pleasure of working with Nick Milligan at Thames Television. He was the most charming, efficient, hard-working (and fun) man I have ever worked with. I shall always have fond, warm memories of him.

I was shocked and saddened to hear of his sudden death and my prayers are for Victoria and his family.

Richard Brooke, Unilever | 14 May

Didn’t really matter who you were, junior buyer to agency head, Nick treated everyone equal – with courtesy, respect and a smile. His humility and inclusive personality made him instantly likeable and he was a great example of the right way to do things. It is a great shame that he has gone and he will be missed

Matthew Russell, Mindshare | 14 May

Simply one of the nicest and most impressive men I have ever met. Rest in peace Nick and Emily

Ilker Shakir, Mindshare | 14 May

Once the shock fades, the memories remain.

Having known Nick since his days at TVS, it was irritatingly obvious that his talents would be hard to constrain.

Through patience, intelligence, humour and vision he garnered respect. For a giant in our industry, he was never less than generous with his time and courtesies.

Milly, you’ll be sadly missed but not forgotten.

My thoughts are with Nick’s family.

Jane Ratcliffe & Karen Blackett, Mediacom | 14 May

It is with a very heavy heart that we write today on behalf of Mediacom to express our deep and sincere sadness at the tragic loss of Nick. He was such a good friend and colleague, not just to all you at Sky, but to us at Mediacom too, having worked with him, socialised with him and generally enjoyed his company for many, many years. He will be sorely missed.

Nick was a unique man who always had time for everyone while still driving a good deal. He has certainly helped shape our industry for the future.

Jonathan Owen, Energy Live | 15 May

I have many fond memories of you Nick, both at work and at play and they all remind me of what a perfect gentlemen you were. From being the most incredible client, through to the enthusiastic chats we had about the world as a whole. You always had time for me no matter what you were doing and your passion for life touched not only me, but everyone around you.

Both of your lives have been cut short way too early, but knowing the wonderful father you were, I am certain Emily is now tightly wrapped within your loving arms forever.

Our prayers are now with Victoria and the children through this terrible time.

You will always remain in our memories - RIP both of you.....

Christine Biggs, Mindshare | 15 May

It feels strange to post and probably stranger to read, when I explain that Nick and I never actually met in person. However, when I heard the news of his passing on the radio last Monday, I immediately recognised his name and the sadness was palpable. He had become a person to me in a “7 degrees of Kevin Bacon” way through colleagues in the industry. I knew him to have a fantastic reputation with my peers and across the agencies, media owners and clients we work with. Indeed, seeing the effect of this news on some of my colleagues here was heart wrenching. I can only offer these words of condolence – that he has most definitely left a legacy. An overwhelming number of friends and colleagues who will carry fond memories, many of which I’m sure will be shared for years to come over dinners, in meetings and in the halls of every agency he visited. My thoughts are with all those that knew him, but particularly his family and close friends.

Matthew Platts, Aegis Media | 15 May

Throughout the years I have known Nick I have been struck by two things. Firstly his ability to present his point of view in the most professional and articulate way, always challenging my thinking and framing his thoughts within a broader business context. He is an inspiration to all of us who have had the privilege to see him in action over the years.

The second and far more important and impressive attribute was his sense of balance and perspective on life. His love for his family and time spent with them, the importance of having fun, to be fit and healthy, to spend time outdoors and lastly not to turn right when leaving Berry Bros like the rest of us. The last week or so has made me determined to always remember the importance of balance in our lives and Nick on that basis leaves a lasting legacy, certainly for me.

We will never forget and we hope and pray that Victoria and the rest of the family will eventually be able to get some semblance of balance back in their lives.

Tom Bridgewater | 15 May

We worked together at Thames. Nick was a top bloke - a real gentleman. This is just too sad. Be strong Milligan family.

Alison Yard, Hobsons International | 15 May

It is difficult to comprehend how such a terrible tragedy could fall upon such a good man. I worked for Nick many years ago when I first started in the industry and he was never anything other than kind, fair and infinitely patient. Whenever I met him since those early days he always took the time and effort to say hello even though our paths didn’t cross that often.

My thoughts and deep condolences are with his family and with all his friends and colleagues who must miss him terribly

Ingrid Poutney, Chello Zone | 15 May

Someone once said to me, of Nick, that even when you knew he was ‘picking your pocket’ somewhat, it was hard to mind too much, as he was doing it with such a twinkly eyed smile ! and it’s true in business he struck a hard bargain, although never so hard that you weren’t glad to be doing a deal with him. But that was just business, in life he was unfailing generous and couldn’t do enough for you, if you dropped a glove on the ski lift, he’s sort you a new pair immediately, if he could lend his weight behind a hotel or restaurant booking he’d do it gladly expecting nothing in return. He also didn’t take himself too seriously and did a brilliant turn as one of the ugly sisters, in a wig and full costume from Central casting, for the office panto performance of Cinderella in the late 80’s. He was such a funny man, my abiding memories of him will always be with head thrown back, laughing and living life to the full. He made such an impact on the media industry, touched so many lives, it seems impossible that the world continues to turn in the same way without him in it – but then from within his much loved family, I guess he is still there, in his surviving adored children. My thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to them for their terrible loss – he will be much missed, by many many people …

Denise Perry, GTN | 16 May

So much has been said, it’s hard to add to it.
RIP Nick, you touched so many.


Colin Jones, Sky | 16 May

I have only been at Sky a year so didn’t know Nick well. But I can say that he was one of the most welcoming people when I joined Sky. He had such charm and wit, and such patience in explaining to me the “dark arts” of advertising, knowing I’m sure that he would have to explain it to me again and again over the following weeks and months. My wife and I sat next to Nick and Victoria at a Sky Christmas party. Such great company, interesting and charming, and obviously so devoted to their family and eachother. I feel privileged to have known Nick, and sad that it was for such a short period of time. Taken too early. Rest in peace.


Karen Stacey, Bauer Media | 16 May

I will miss the feeling of looking at my diary and thinking today will be a good day - I have lunch with Nick Milligan ( usually at Scott's ). The pride you had for your two families shone through - Victoria and the children and the team (I knew) at Sky Media. Both made you smile unashamedly like a Cheshire Cat.

You will be missed Nick.


Suzanne Wilkinson, BARB | 16 May

My memories of Nick over the years are of someone genuine, clever, kind and amusing, with a generous spirit. Always an approachable and charming man who demonstrated a sensible grasp of reality (whilst, on occasion embracing a sense of the ridiculous!) I, like so many people, had reason to be grateful to Nick - whilst on the Board of BARB he was instrumental in furthering my career.

He truly deserves the respect he engendered from his colleagues and friends, clients and suppliers, which will endure with his memory. He is sorely missed by so many.

My sincere thoughts and deepest sympathy for his family and friends whilst they come to terms with the tragedy of their loss and take courage from their memories.


Mai Fyfield, Sky | 16 May

Working with Nick was a real privilege. When I first started working with Sky Media Nick was incredibly welcoming. He was open, honest and kind and made me feel part of the team. Since then we often sat next to each other at the Monday meeting, and would have a natter about the latest gossip and stories about our respective weekends in Cornwall. He would proudly show me pictures of his lovely family and what they had been up to. Nick was one of the best with a warmth and sense of fun that rubbed off on those around him. He made Sky a better place to work.


Paul Andrews, ex-BMW | 16 May

As has been said already by so many people, nothing could have prepared us for the tragic and sudden loss of Nick and his young daughter Emily.

I’d heard the news on the radio that day about a terrible accident in Cornwall, but never for a moment believed that it would be anyone I knew. It wasn’t until late the next day that I saw the headlines on the newspaper stand and my heart sank - and for quite a while, time stop, as I read the news that featured on the front page of almost every paper.

Nick was a true ‘master’ of the advertising and media world. You could always rely on him to give you a personal and expert view on pretty much anything and he showed a genuine interest in everyone he dealt with. He was kind and engaging, always a gentleman, but also knew how to enjoy himself. His family was paramount in his life, and having just left a busy life at BMW, it has made me think again about how to get the right balance between family and work – Nick seemed to have it just right.

Having seen him quite recently at the Berry Bros ‘do’ at which he was always the consummate host and presenter, it’s hard to think of him not being around. I shall miss helping him out with his next BMW or MINI – he loved his M3s, X5s and MINIs, and his bikes – and there’s absolutely no doubt that his memory will live on with all of us for a long time.

My heart goes out to his wife, children and his family – and also to all those who knew him well and those who worked with him at Sky – it must leave a great void for all of you.

Alex Lewis, Warner Bros. | 16 May

What a very lovely, smart, happy man Nick was. He was valued and respected and loved by his team and by all those at Sky - who he valued, respected and loved in return. He seemed to know practically everyone, certainly in London and probably beyond! I guess that’s because he made such a good and memorable impression on anyone he met. He had time for people. He had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. I always loved bumping into him for a chat. One of the world’s true gentlemen. He will be sorely missed.


Richard Joyce | 17 May

I first met Nick many years ago in his bachelor days on the ski slopes of Verbier. Subsequently we enjoyed several Easter ski trips together as part of a wider group sharing a chalet. I was a relative junior in the media industry at the time and yet Nick treated me as an equal and was always kind, generous, and good humoured. He even took the time to teach me how to ski the bumps, even though I never really mastered the art. I've been away a long time, having moved to Asia fourteen years ago to pursue my career so it's a long time since I last saw him, yet I can still see his sparkling eyes and cheeky smile as if it were yesterday. I was so shocked and saddened to hear the tragic news of his demise. My heart goes out to his family, colleagues and all who knew him. RIP Nick & Emily and travel well, you will always be in our hearts and never forgotten.


Debbie Chalet | 17 May

Its hard writing this and even harder having now read all the other tributes...I cannot think of anything original to say just echoes of all the other messages. I worked with Nick at Thames TV over 5 years or more and only 2 years ago 'interviewed' him for his opinion for some consultancy work...I had not seen him for some time but he readily agreed to an hour and gave me 2..generous of time and spirit as ever As always he was interested to learn what I had been up to but excited to talk about his family , show me pictures and answer my fairly dull questions for the 'interview' piece! honestly, openly and professionally.

He was one of the nicest guys in the industry what a loss to the industry but most of all to his loving family Your legacy will be long, the tears cried will be many, the loss will be great x x x


Fran Sutton | 17 May

You made me want to strive to do better and never let you down. In return you gave me credibility and respect. Thank you so much for your support it was an honour to work for you. I’m so sad for the people who met you and loved you dearly and sad for the people who should have met you in the future.

Milly you are a Legend!


Pablo Avery | 17 May

Nico was a good friend in and out of work. He was a good mentor and he has helped me achieve so much. He gave me belief and also importantly perspective on life. Be that on Wandsworth Common mucking about with the kids and dogs or over a cup of tea tackling the issues of the day. He always there and he always listened. His advice was always spot on. I will miss him dearly.


Kevin Murphy, UM Birmingham | 17 May

I only met Nick a few times but as we can all see from the messages, he was one of the good guys. I’ve been so shocked and saddened at the tragedy. To see a happy, loving family affected in this way is just heart-breaking. 

 
Myself and all of us at UM Birmingham just wanted to send our deepest condolences to family and friends.
 
Robin Jackson, KOBGS | 17 May
KOBGS is a golf society that derives much amusement and pleasure from the camaraderie of old friend meeting twice a year to hit a small white ball for a couple of days. Nick has been a member since our inception in 1991.
 
We have laughed with Nick (and occasionally laughed at him), and have watched with a curious fascination as his career has blossomed. We are thankful that success did not change the man. He has remained throughout a generous and good friend, a family man, and a man who has kept his feet firmly on the ground, retaining his humility and appreciating his good fortune. We shall all miss him dearly and are fortunate to have spent some happy times in his company.
 
Reading the page of tributes there is a consistent theme throughout of esteem and affection. Clearly the way Nick conducted himself has had a tremendous impact on both his career and how he has been judged by others. A lesson we could all learn from.
 
Chris Broadbent, Mediacom | 17 May

It is so incredibly sad to have heard the news about Nick, my thoughts are with his beautiful family, friends and indeed everyone at Sky.

 
Thank you Nick for everything you have ever done for me, always so honest, generous and fair.
 
Such a sad day and such a fantastic man, a caring and inspirational man, it just does not make any sense.
 
Linda Carling | 17 May
I worked with Nick at Thames - all the wonderful sentiments expressed are so true, but I mostly recall how he balanced out some of the terrifying testosterone in that grey office above Maples. I am broken-hearted for Victoria and the children, but relieved Nick is there for Emily. RIP.
 
Simon Lewis, Live Nation | 18 May
Nick inspired a whole new generation of people in the constant evolution of the media industry. 
 
He motivated us to think for ourselves, to have confidence in our abilities - be they fledgling or seasoned, to always maintain personal integrity in the face of corporate needs and to have fun doing so. 
 
He led with a gentle but firm touch and an iron clad determination....and always a smile.  
 
While I was working under his leadership at Thames TV I once asked him what worried him most about his high pressure job...his answer was simple, honest, instant and typical of his nature..."My biggest fear is people finding out that I'm not as good as they think I am". His colleagues and friends would certainly say the opposite - he never knew just how incredibly good he was. 
 
His memory and inspiration will live on through the hundreds, or probably thousands, of people he graced with his personality. 
 
Ian Blackaller | 19 May
Its all been said - I visited him once in Padstow when I was in the studios in Plymouth - thoroughly nice man. My thoughts are with all the family so cruelly left behind & god bless them all. Rest in Peace
 
Claire Fuller, FullerGirling | 19 May
Milly was many things to me...we were flat-mates, business partners, he was my husband’s boss but above all he was a dear friend who I will miss so very much. 
 
We have been friends for nearly 30 years and had many holidays and so many good times, memories I will cherish. I could write a book of ‘Milly stories’. One of my favourites was when we were playing ‘names in a hat’ in Verbier. Milly pulled out Thomas Jefferson and described him to his team-mates as ‘The man who invented the toilet’ … he never lived it down!!
 
Milly was truly one of the kindest people I have ever known and he touched so many people’s lives. My life was definitely richer for having him as my friend.
 
For the first 10-15 years that we were friends Milly was searching (hard!!) for Mrs Milligan and his life was completely transformed when he met Victoria. From that moment on his life changed and he was so happy when Victoria agreed to marry him. His life became complete with the arrival of his beautiful children.
 
Whenever I saw Milly, he would always say ‘Hello my lovely’ and then start talking about his family and showing me the latest photos.
 
The photos are of some of our fun times....a trip with Steph to the USA, off to Nick Brien’s fancy dress party and Milly after his forfeit on a ski trip where he had to eat a crème egg and a raw egg in one go!
 
I have so many happy memories of our friendship, and the thought that I will never hear him say ‘Hello my lovely’ is so hard to bear.
  
Andy Bolden, GSK | 20 May
Nick, the real deal. 
 
I’m privileged to have known him.   
 
The industry is an emptier place without him but his memory will live on.
Mark White | 20 May
Nick was a fantastic family man across all the generations. His face lit up when he talked about his dream girl Victoria, his gorgeous kids, his parents and his brothers and sister. I was blessed to be part of his work family for 16 years from Thames TV, through UK Gold to all the adventures at Channel Five. We always said that he was like the big 'Ar kid' I never had: taller, older, wiser and with more grey hair (when he wasn't dying it!) He taught me, encouraged me and always stood beside me when I needed support.
 
He combined the head of the top class media statesman he became with the loving heart of the country tractor boy he forever was inside. He cared passionately about the companies he represented and even more so for those that helped him make them successful.
 
At Five he was the head of the family, sitting in his extra tall leather chair surrounded by his loyal team. We'd all discuss the business at hand whilst respectfully taking the piss out of each other, well mostly Milly, which he secretly loved but forever protested about! He knew nothing much about football (preferring sports involving horses and mallets!) but would always pick up some facts from the previous night's games so that he could join in the footy banter. He'd get the players names wrong, put them in the wrong teams and say they played for Everton United or Arsenal Hotspur!  The point was he'd make great efforts to take an interest in whatever you were.  We had adjoining offices so he would just stroll in while I was in a meeting, leave my guest in a 'celeb meeting daze' as he introduced himself with that winning smile before turning to me to say 'got any chocolate?' He stole a factory full of Galaxy from my desk over the years, as well as frequently asking for me to get him ' A Big Mac meal..... if you're going". I'd always happily oblige but didn't think it fair when he'd constantly blame me for him missing his target at one of Victoria's morning weigh in's.
 
That was what made him the special one, you would be prepared to do anything for him, you weren't sure why, you just did! He built his teams at UK Gold, Five and Sky with people he believed could deliver and gave them the support and confidence to do so. 
  
Like so many, I'm finding it so hard to believe that I'll never see him again but what's easy to believe is that he'll always be in my heart.
 
I'll miss his huge bear hugs, his words of wisdom and the countless laughs we all shared together. He was my boss, my big 'Ar kid', but most of all, he was my mate.
 
Xx
Neil Blackley | 21 May
Nick exuded purpose and charm in equal measure. He believed in ‘Paying it Forward’, which led to unaccountable acts of kindness. A van once unexpectedly turned up at my mother’s house in Norfolk to install a new aerial to receive Channel 5 – it was Nick who had arranged it. She never forgot his thoughtfulness.
 
He was a true heavyweight in the television industry, and one of the few people who could coherently explain Station Average Price to me.
 
I can’t believe, after 25 years of business and friendship, that I won’t see Nick again. We are desperately wishing that Victoria, Amber, Olivia and Kit will be able to rebuild their lives again.
 
All our love, Neil & Fiona Blackley
 
Ivor Millman | 21 May
I remember Nick joining TVS those decades ago as one of the new generation of sales people-young graduates rather than say ex-servicemen-destined for a fast track rise if they merited it. And Nick did. In those days partly as part of joiners' training and maybe because no one else could immediately think what to do with them, he spent a week with me in Research, not forgetting lunch and a bottle across the road at The Tapster. In the years that followed Nick's departure from TVS our paths crossed periodically and always I felt with mutual liking and respect.
 
I was in India and between meetings with Indian TAM I was travelling in Rajasthan a fortnight ago. To escape from the mid-afternoon 47 degrees I sat on the hotel veranda catching up on e-mails and then thought that I would check the UK news on-line. Not that it happens much but it is always surprising to see a story where you know someone or have some involvement. However, to see the picture of someone you know and with that story below it was shocking. I immediately exchanged e-mails with Julian Dobinson and said 'Comments have often been made about bad news travelling fast’.
 
I read the shocking news about Nick and his family. As you probably know I have known Nick since his first days in commercial television.  There is not a lot more that I can say other than to send my condolences to his family, colleagues and friends and to wish his surviving family  members (what horrible words) all the best in recovering from their  injuries.
 
And now I see that I am a late comer from Spain on the tributes page.
 
I can only agree with what others have said about Nick. It is a terrible tragedy for him and his family and I appreciate for his colleagues too. I am very sorry.
Neil Duncan, OMD | 21 May
I’ll simply remember Nick as a great guy, someone with a real generosity of spirit, always welcoming, always so engaging and always with time to talk - about family and work, invariably in that order. 
 
My thoughts and prayers are with Nick’s family and friends.
Pete Cooper, MediaCom | 21 May
I only met Nick on a few occasions though I saw him present many times. The consummate professional and true gentleman he seemed to have time for everyone, which given his workload and family commitments was quite something. I was fortunate enough to share dinner with him and James and Paul Wheeler as recently as March and the air was filled with sharp discussion, unhindered optimism and no little fun (oh, and the odd glass of wine). It was a huge treat to sit there and listen to what Nick had to say across a wide range of topics.
 
To see the tragedy which unfolded on the Bank Holiday weekend brought a dark cloud over the whole industry – an industry clearly united in its grief and total respect for one terrific bloke.
 
Our thoughts at MediaCom North are with his family at this very sad time.  
David Ferguson | 21 May
Nick was a real star!!  And will always be remembered that way! I wanted to write earlier but simply could not find the words to comment on such a tragedy.
 
I met Nick 1988 at Thames.  I had just arrived in London from Toronto. I was a fish out of water and Nick was always there to answer my silly questions. Over the years we would bump into each other at different events.  I had been a small fish, but he always remembered me and had time for a catch up.
 
When I started up my business, after seven  years of not seeing each other and "out of the blue", I called Nick for some much needed advice. Without hesitation, he saw me the next day and spent over two hours with me?! Just one example of Nick's generous spirit. One could always count on Nick to be there to help.
 
"Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them, but you know they're always there."
 
My thoughts and wishes are with Nick's family as they try to handle such a tragic and unfair loss.
Emma Harris | 21 May

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Robert Ditcham | 21 May
I first got to know Nick through a dreadful row we had when he was at Thames flogging me airtime. Thames were of course overtraded and Nick's job was to juggle the mess around and make it all work! It was a dreadful situation but even then I could help myself liking him! He was the velvet glove with a fist in it! Not the best start to our relationship but over the many years since, in all our different roles we became good mates and I valued his opinion greatly. He lit up a room, was fun - no GREAT fun - but always knew who was paying his salary. That's why I think he was so successful - because he knew the right thing to do, and we all could sense that, as did the Sky management. We met twice a year in the Ship in Wandsworth for a beer and a catch up - a quick couple of pints, a giggle, and always a nugget of gold to share with me. Not sure he got many back. I will miss those special pints very much, but remember Milly you still owe me 150 ratings.
 
Mark Swift, Viacom | 23 May
Quite simply Milly was my boss, my mentor, my friend.
 
I have known Milly for most of my working life and it has been a privilege to work with him both at Channel 5 and recently as our partner at Sky Media.
 
But more than that I thank Milly for the good times we spent outside of work, from teaching me to ski in the late 80’s on ridiculously long skis, to days on the golf course waiting for him to swing his club, to trips abroad to places far and wide, celebrating his wedding, his birthday, to the past few years seeing in the New Year down in Cornwall with Milly, Victoria and the kids and all the other 46 of us!
 
New Year in Cornwall will never be the same but memories of Milly and the good times will always shine through and never be forgotten.
 
Rest in peace Milly and Emily.
 
Robbie Morton, M2M | 23 May
I did not know Nick very well but my experience was a very positive one.  He was a very decent, friendly, professional man who presented better than anyone else I ever saw in the industry.  He always had time for everyone, no matter their standing in the industry. If you sent him an email he replied within minutes. I and everyone at M2M would like to offer our condolences to his family and wish them a speedy and healthy recovery. God bless them.
Andrew Griffith, Sky | 23 May
I count myself fortunate to have known Nick for almost a decade together at Sky.  For the longest time we were friends and colleagues; sharing gossip, comparing notes and collaborating on projects, many of which will be part of his lasting legacy to a company and industry in which he was latterly a respected, albeit youthful and slightly reluctant, elder!  More recently, I had the genuine pleasure of working much more closely with Nick, observing at close quarters the team that he built, was himself the lynchpin to and that he rightly had intense pride in.
 
Looking across to Nick’s office at Sky Media this last week has been hard since there was so much of his personality present in the little touches;  his picture of Victoria, the girls and Kit, his motorcycle helmet.  We’d talk often about our respective family trips to Cornwall and compare notes on where to go and what to do. Of course this could never be an equal exchange as, wherever he was, Nick knew everyone and was characteristically generous with this information.
 
Finally, Nick, more than anyone else I’ve ever known at Sky, genuinely lived for Victoria and the children.  
 
Despite the fact that many of us would wish to say (and wish to have said) of ourselves the same - and have children of identical ages – Nick had a clearer sense of what really mattered and the courage to act on that insight. I’ll forever be glad that he did, mindful of the suddenness with which life changes.
Pauline Babayode | 23 May
I first met Nick when I worked at Thames in 1986. I was then fortunate enough to be part of his team that went to launch UK Gold, UK Living and finally Channel 5. He was always so positive, ready for any challenge - whether work or play - and always smiling. He was a fantastic support to me as a "working Mum" with two very young children, facilitating time and flexibility, recognising the importance of family even before he had his own. 
 
We all worked very hard as his team, but played hard too....we had some amazing times and trips across the years, Australia, a memorable flight back from Hong Kong, an earthquake in Acapulco, fantastic trips to the States both East coast and West coast and those famous Sales Conferences all over Europe. Whenever we travelled as a team on a plane however, Nick always turned left as we boarded!!!
 
From reading so many tributes, he has had such an amazing impact on so many people and the Media Industry. It was ironic that he was acknowledged recently with the Great and the Good of BAFTA...Nick would have so loved that.
 
We were all so delighted when he met Victoria and whenever I saw him recently he was always so proud of his wonderful family. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to Victoria, Amber, Olivia and Kit.
 
Nick, we will miss your charm and smiling face.
Look after Emily.
XX
Glyn Butterworth, Barclays | 24 May

Unfortunately I didn’t know Nick as well as many of you, I wish I had.  Our catch-ups tended to be less-frequent but despite this, I felt like he was a good friend – I guess that was one of his special charms.

Along with knowing that if you ever caught him without an actual smile on his face, you knew that it was only a matter of time until one appeared.  What a great way to do business and, more importantly, what a great way to go through life.

As with many of us, one of the last times I saw Nick was welcoming us all to Berry Brothers earlier this year.  It’s probably a measure of him that, upon realising I was seated next to him at dinner, I had a two-fold response: (1) a (somewhat misplaced I’m sure) sense of personal pride that I was thought good enough to sit next to Nick, and, (2) thank god I’m with someone who I know I can have a proper chat and a laugh with.  It goes without saying that we spent a little less time talking business, than we did discussing how we loved spending time with our families enjoying the fresh air.

We traded emails throughout the next day and after I’d thanked him for a traditionally generous gesture, his final note to me simply said, “A Pleasure”. And do you know what Nick, it always was.
 

Fiona Hosking | 28 May
About 30 years ago I was made a Sales Exec at TVS and Nick was my very first Assistant. Of course, we didn’t work together for long; he was destined for far greater things! I know that, like me, many of that old sales team, some of whom have long left the industry, are deeply grieving following this heart-rending news. Over the years our paths crossed on many occasions and Nick never changed.  His persona was comfortingly consistent -- oozing with charm and wit, and always offering help, advice, or lunch! 
 
Since meeting Victoria and becoming a father he found a different focus, developing a nifty flip of the wallet to pull out photos (with commentary) of Victoria and the children.  He had found a real meaning and centre to his world. I am so very sad for his family, close friends and colleagues. In the days, months and years to come I’m sure Victoria and the children will gain much comfort from the tributes that have been paid on these pages. Knowing that Nick was so loved and respected will undoubtedly bring them comfort. From the time when I met him all those years ago, it was clear that Nick had it all mapped out, he knew exactly where he was going, a wise head on young shoulders; we “saw the crescent; you saw the whole of the moon”.  God Bless. Xx
 
Simon Mathews, Mindshare Worldwide | 28 May

I returned from a holiday to hear about this tragedy. I saw Nick on Thursday 2nd May at Mindshare as he visited some colleagues. He gave me a warm embrace and smiled broadly. We'll all miss that big smile and generous personality. Nick was a complete professional but I think many of us will remember that he was at his happiest and most effusive when talking about Victoria and their children; they meant absolutely everything to him. 

Frances Dickens, Astus Group | 28 May

It's taken me a while to write this because I can't believe that Milly won't be around anymore and I just didn't know what to say. Milly was a good friend, fun lunch companion and a knowledgeable advisor. A true gentleman in every aspect.  My heart goes out to Victoria, Amber, Olivia and Kit as well as to the 'Millfield' connection of Mark and James.  RIP Nick and thank you for your invaluable support and advice over the last 15 or so years.

Angela Coleman, Ivista | 29 May

I am sure my sense of disbelief over the May bank holiday was the same as the thousands of people who had met Nick personally and professionally.

I worked with Nick at Thames TV for 5 years and although I hadn't seen him for a while have very fond memories of working with him and the team at Thames.

He was a lovely man; smart, funny, hardworking, charismatic, professional and always had time for you.

My deepest, heartfelt sympathy to his family as they come to terms with such a tragedy, but just remember the wonderful times you had together and how much he loved you. He and Emily will always be with you.

Charli Kumar, Sky | 29 May

From the first time I met Nick his charm and his warmth shone forth, and having the opportunity to work with him was truly a joy.

There are so many moments and stories involving Nick that always made me smile, and will continue to do so as I look back.  We always joked about the ‘James Bond’ moment when Nick would step out of his motorbike leathers and instantly look absolutely pristine in his perfectly tailored suit.  And I recall how at the leadership group meeting a few years ago an old photo was shown of Nick with long thick black hair and raised such laughs from everyone more used to the ‘ silver fox’…

Nick, it was such privilege to know you and to work with you.  I’m sure you’re looking down on us now with that mischievous glint in your eye, I just wish you were still here to do so.  I wish your family the strongest possible recovery.

Philippa Brown, Omnicom | 29 May

Nick was the most wonderful and caring man, who loved his family so much. I pleased that we have the lovely memory of seeing Nick and his wonderful family only a month ago skiing in Austria. Whilst I know that we will all miss him, he will never be forgotten.  Please pass on my love to Victoria and the children.

Zoe Fuller, Thinkbox | 4 June
So many wonderful tributes to Milly. They all made me cry. I hope Victoria and the rest of Nick’s family can derive some small comfort from knowing how much he meant to so many people. My brother referred to Milly as a “prince amongst men” and this seems a fitting description to me as Milly was a true gentleman with a big personality, an inspiring leader who was extremely popular and full of fun – more Prince Harry than Prince William perhaps. His death has made a huge impact of the media world that we are all still reeling from. Calpurnia in Julius Caesar says “When beggars die, there are no comets seen; The heavens blaze forth the death of princes.”
Nick Theakstone, GroupM | 4 June
I have known Milly all my working life which is now nearly 30 years. We have at times had difficult conversations but have always come out the other end with a positive outcome, not always easy in our world.
 
Milly was a colossus, indeed there is nobody that can match him.  He was extremely bright, fabulous presenter, considerate, always prepared to hear the other side of the story and was a thorough professional.  He did an amazing job for the industry and particularly for Sky.  
 
The other side of Milly was equally impressive. He was a wonderful family man and every waking hour focussed on them, they gave him the purpose to do what he did.  He has left a gorgeous wife and three lovely kids who will extend his memory for ever and a day.
 
He was also an amazing friend, confidant and always the life and soul. Milly was a beautiful man who really cared about his friends and business associates.
 
The last few weeks have been very difficult, nothing of course comparable to how his family must be feeling.  I can’t even begin to think what Victoria and the kids are going through but I do know that everyone is praying to give them strength.
 
Milly will always remain a very special man and his memory will live on as will his beautiful daughter Emily.
Mike Baker, Outdoor Media Centre | 4 June
My memories of Nick go back as long as my media career, starting at Thames in 1986.
 
An exemplary man who seemed to be successful exactly because of who he was - kind, decent, attentive, funny, likeable, genuine. A real role model for the rest of us he leaves behind and all those who will follow.