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Legendary director Michael Apted dies, aged 79

Legendary director Michael Apted dies, aged 79
© Reuters
Up creator and pioneering director Michael Apted dies at the age of 79.

Pioneering director Michael Apted has died at the age of 79, his agent has confirmed.

During a career stretching back to the 1960s, Apted was known for creating the seminal documentary series Up, which has followed the same group of people every seven years since they were aged seven in 1964.

Apted was also one of the early directors on Coronation Street and directed the James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough, released in 1999.

Thomas Schlamme, president of the Directors Guild of America, said: "Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the passing of esteemed director, longtime DGA leader and my friend Michael Apted.

"His legacy will forever be woven into the fabric of cinema and our Guild.

"A fearless visionary as a director and unparalleled guild leader, Michael saw the trajectory of things when others didn't and we were all beneficiaries of his wisdom and lifelong dedication."

ITV MD Kevin Lygo said in a statement: "At ITV, we are deeply saddened by the news that Michael Apted has passed away.

"Michael's long and distinguished career began and ended with ITV, spanning six decades, which is in itself truly remarkable.

"What that association produced was truly unique.

"The Up series demonstrated the possibilities of television at its finest in its ambition and its capacity to hold up a mirror to society and engage with and entertain people while enriching our perspective on the human condition.

"The influence of Michael's contribution to film and programme-making continues to be felt and he will be sadly missed."

The cause of Apted's death has not been disclosed.

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