A MUCH-RESPECTED film editor who won international acclaim for his imaginative work in TV and the big screen has died.

Mark Talbot-Butler, 55, from Northwich, has been hailed 'a loss of great British film talent' as he leaves an amazing legacy of achievements.

The freelance film editor worked on Top Gear, Dynamo, Beyond Belief and The London Paralympics Games closing ceremony among countless other movies, TV shows and documentaries.

Canadian born wife Tanya, 51, said: "It was never a career or job, it was a passion. There was never anything else he wanted to do.

"It was his passion for what he did that drew him to me.

"He took such great pride in his work, he'd often be up until 4am editing rushes until he got it just right.

"It was a personal thing, he wanted to do his absolute best for the director, to get their vision into the film.

"He loved film, it was a very big part of his life."

Lifelong friend and filmmaker Chris Jones said: "I am not sure I knew anyone with a greater depth of knowledge and deep passion about film as Mark. I learnt so much from him. He gave me the gift of rigorously high standards. We have lost another great British film talent."

Mark attended Leftwich Junior School and won a place at Sir John Deane's Grammar School before studying at Northwich Technical College.

Dad Mike, from Sandiway, former sports editor at Northwich Guardian where he worked for 45 years, said: "That is where he developed what turned out to be a lifelong love for photography and film.

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"Mark completed his education at Bournemouth College of Art and Design where he became more deeply involved in the film world, making many potential future contacts.

"Mark eventually became a freelance film editor in London and began to see his name in the credits at the end of many films and television shows, his favourite being Top Gear."

After working extensively at home and abroad, Mark won an international film prize for editing from Peter Ustinov in 2010.

Mark loved Planet of the Apes and amassed a collection of 2,400 behind the scenes stills.

Tanya said: "He was an avid Planet of the Apes fan and he loved Star Trek. His man cave is filled with DVDs, special books and memorabilia.

Northwich Guardian: Mark was an avid Planet of the Apes fanMark was an avid Planet of the Apes fan

Mark was an avid Planet of the Apes fan

"He liked and watched anything that was a good piece of work, action films, karate, drama, westerns.

"He was definitely someone you wanted on your pub quiz. He could tell you who directed episodes, he worked with so many famous people."

The couple, who got married in 2013, moved to Berkshire two years ago.

"He loved being close to green open spaces," said Tanya. "He said it reminded him of growing up in Northwich. He used to walk through fields to get to school."

Northwich Guardian: Mark loved green open spaces because it reminded him of growing up in NorthwichMark loved green open spaces because it reminded him of growing up in Northwich

Mark loved green open spaces because it reminded him of growing up in Northwich

Mark mentored film students to pass on his skills and knowledge.

"He taught me how to be an assistant editor before we married," said Tanya. "We had one feature film we were hoping to start next year.

"He was really good fun, we had a good life."

Mark loved working on the Paralympic Games closing ceremony in 2012.

"He was really blown away by it," said Tanya. "One of the directors was blind and another deaf, it was a really wonderful experience for him."

Northwich Guardian: Mark hailed 'a great British film talent'Mark hailed 'a great British film talent'

Mark hailed 'a great British film talent'

Mark died at home in Reading on December 30 after battling an incurable cancer. His funeral took place on Friday and a memorial will be held after lockdown.

He leaves parents Mike and Wyn, younger brother Nick, sister-in-law Joy and nieces Charlotte, Olivia and Lucy.