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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 2, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 22
Gay journalist and PR manager Martyn Hett among the victims of Manchester attack
Arts & Entertainment
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Gay journalist and PR manager Martyn Hett among the victims of Manchester attack

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

The suicide bomb attack at Manchester Arena last month claimed 22 lives, among them a well-known gay journalist and PR manager, Martyn Hett. The 29 year-old from Stockport, England was a contributing writer to Attitude magazine, the UK's largest LGBT publication, and appeared in two British reality TV shows, 'Come Dine with Me' and 'Tattoo Fixers.'

He had been working most recently for the PR firm Rumpus, in Altrincham, before his death. The company posted this message on Twitter, 'For once words fail us @martynhett taken from us rip beloved friend.' In a statement released to the press, Rumpus also noted 'He taught us so much about seizing opportunities and rejoicing in everything life could offer no matter how small: a birthday, a great moment at work, a celebrity follower, he made them special, now we know why.'

Hett attended the Ariana Grande concert on May 22 with friend Stuart Aspinall, but they were separated after the show, when the blast occurred. He was last spotted about 10:10 pm at the bar inside the arena.

'He went to the bar about 20 minutes before the end of the concert and got chatting to some girls,' stated Aspinall in an interview with Towleroad. 'As I was leaving, the explosion happened and everyone started running.'

Hett was scheduled to be in the US this week, having saved up money for two years to spend a couple of months in America. His planned trip included being an audience member of the Wendy Williams talk show in New York on May 29 and 30; he was a big fan of hers. Williams paid tribute to him by keeping one seat in the studio audience empty during the taping of the dates he was set to attend.

Pop giant Mariah Carey honored Hett, who was a huge fan of hers as well, with a social media post that read 'Devastated to learn that one of the victims in Manchester was part of the #Lambily. RIP Martyn Hett. We will cherish your memory forever. His family and all the families affected are in my thoughts and prayers. MC.' She added two heart emojis at the end.

A vigil in Hett's hometown of Stockport on May 29 drew hundreds of mourners, including family members and his partner Russell Hayward. Shortly after it was confirmed he'd died in the explosion, Hayward shared this message: 'Thankfully I have his wonderful family and amazing friends to keep each other strong. I love you Martyn I always will. X.'

Both Hett and Hayward were superfans of the British soap opera 'Coronation Street' and the show dedicated a bench from the set of its series to him and the other 21 victims of the attack.

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