Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Broadcaster Jameson dies aged 82

Veteran broadcaster Derek Jameson has died, aged 82

Veteran broadcaster Derek Jameson has died.

The 82-year-old, who edited three national newspapers, had a heart attack at his home, his wife Ellen said.

Mr 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.

Mr Jameson 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.

He developed a reputation as a builder of circulation and, asked to launch the Daily Star - the first new national tabloid for 75 years, he took it to more than a million copies within a year.

He also put on half a million readers at the Daily Express, which languished at less than two million when he joined it.

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.

He went on to present a chat show for six years with his wife, establishing the largest late night radio audience in Europe.

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