Broadcaster Jameson dies aged 82
Published 13/09/2012 | 10:02
Veteran broadcaster Derek Jameson has died, it has been announced.
The 82-year-old, who edited three national newspapers, had a heart attack at his home yesterday, his wife Ellen said.
Jameson edited the Daily Express, the Daily Star and the News of the World and was also managing editor of the Daily Mirror, and a popular presenter on BBC Radio 2.
He was born in poverty in London's East End where, without parents, he grew up in a home. He began work in Fleet Street as a messenger boy at the age of 14 and rose through the ranks to edit some of Britain's biggest newspapers.
In 1984, he found himself broke and unemployed. Rupert Murdoch had fired him because of differences at the News of the World and he then lost all his money in a disastrous libel action against the BBC. He launched the lawsuit after Radio 4 called him "an East End boy made bad".
However it was the BBC, recognising his gifts as a communicator, which turned him into a celebrity with television series such as Do They Mean Us? and his popular breakfast show on Radio 2.
Much of his fame rested on his gravelly Cockney voice. He told how when he rang directory enquiries on one occasion the operator asked: "Is that Derek Jameson?"
Radio 2 executive producer Gary Bones, who was a senior producer on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show with Mr Jameson in the early 90s, said: "Derek was not only a unique broadcaster and Fleet Street legend but also a really nice, kind and generous man who always knew exactly how to tap into the mood of the nation at the time."
Presenting the Radio 2 breakfast show, Jameson attracted a daily audience of nearly 10 million listeners. He went on to host the Monday to Thursday late-night show, The Jamesons, along with his wife, and in 1988 he began presenting the BBC One television show People.
He had his own nightly chat show on Sky TV Jameson Tonight and also presented Headliners for Thames TV and Do They Mean Us for BBC Two.