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TV newsreader Ed Mitchell ‘sleeping rough’ December 20, 2007

Posted by Daniel Martin in General.
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In his heyday, he interviewed six presidents, five chancellors and three prime ministers.

Yesterday, however, his £100,000 a year salary, semi-detached family home and two overseas holidays a year were just a memory as Ed Mitchell nestled down in his sleeping bag on a park bench.

 Mitchell en el banco donde vive. (Foto: Splash News)

 He was trying not to allow the music from a nearby night club disturb his “cheap cider” induced sleep.

Mr Mitchell, 54, is now one of the estimated 400,000 homeless people. He has had no permanent roof over his head since March when crippling credit card debts forced him to sell his family home in Portslade, East Sussex.

He says he was officially declared bankrupt last month with debts of £250,000.

As he sipped a pint of lager in a pub near Brighton railway station, his high-flying career seemed very distant.

But Mr Mitchell insisted: “I have never been happier.

“I now have more freedom. I don’t own a car or house or have debts or a mortgage.”

He concedes that there are disadvantages – he usually sleeps for just three hours a night, often in sub-zero temperatures. “A tramp sleeps like an animal with one eye open. You never know who is going to stab you or set you alight,” said Mr Mitchell, who thinks there are a growing number of “white-collar tramps”.

The man who was once photographed outside 11 Downing Street with fellow news readers Carol Barnes and Alistair Stewart seemed to enjoy being back in the limelight after being revealed as the town’s most famous vagrant.

 Mitchell en el informativo. (Foto: Splash News)

 “As a financial and business journalist, I must have been as daft as a brush to get in this position,” said Mr Mitchell, who began his journalism career in 1974 with Reuters, before stints at the BBC and Sky News.

“I used to move from one ‘zero interest’ credit card to the next but eventually it all caught up with me.”

Mr Mitchell was never good with money: even before he was made redundant in October 1999, he had run up credit card debts of £50,000.

Once he was made redundant, these spiralled out of control and he was eventually paying 25 different credit cards and a mortgage of £600 a month on nothing more than his dole money.

Now he survives on just £52 a week – his “job seeker’s allowance”.

After losing his job, his debts mounted and his 25-year marriage to his wife, Judy, fell apart.

The couple have two children, Alexandra, 24, and Frederick, 22. His son still lives with his former wife.

“Neither of my children can put me up – but neither would I want them to,” he said.

As offers of help and work come in, Mr Mitchell hopes to revive his journalism career and do charity work for the homeless. He said: “I don’t want to die on the streets.”

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