Former Fleet Street editor and veteran broadcaster Derek Jameson, who has died aged 82, was a life member of the NUJ and joined the union in 1947.
When long-serving NUJ staffer Marie Buchanan retired, it was Derek who was called on to make a speech in her honour at the union’s 1994 delegate meeting in London. A larger than life figure, Derek recalled how, at an ADM years earlier, he’d invited the young Marie for a moonlight stroll along the beach … in Harrogate!
Proud of his association with the union, Derek walked off his Radio 2 programme when the NUJ went on strike at the BBC, declaring on air that ‘I must stand with my colleagues’.
Derek Jameson was born in poverty in London’s east end, and later recalled picking up discarded fruit from the street when Walthamstow market closed at night.
He went to work as a messenger at Reuters at the age of 14, but his career saw him rise to become editor of the Daily Express, Daily Star and News of the World, where he was fired by Rupert Murdoch, before creating a new career as a popular broadcaster in the 1980s.
Former Daily Mirror editor Roy Greenslade, who worked for Jameson at the Daily Star, recalls in a tribute
that Derek “saw himself as a working class lad who, having retained the accent of his youth in Hackney, never lost touch with his roots. His whole persona was built around being an anti-establishment rebel.”
Derek Jameson is survived by his wife Ellen and four adult children.