My father-in-law, John Thompson, who has died aged 88, was a journalist, editor, broadcaster and publisher: his career was the embodiment of late 20th-century media in all their variety. A man who never lost his reporter’s curiosity, he was often at the forefront of the latest developments, whether as one of the first newsreaders on ITV, creator of commercial local radio or early editor of the Observer colour magazine. His enthusiasm for innovative ideas was in contrast to his inclination to treat new technology with suspicion. The fax he just about tolerated; the internet he completely ignored.
Son of Lilian (nee Sutton) and John Thompson, he was born in Bangor, County Down, where his father was a tax inspector. The family moved to south London when John was eight and he was educated at St Paul’s school, where he rose to be head boy, before reading history at Pembroke College, Oxford. He was all set to join the Foreign Office until his asthma ruled that out. Given his subtle wit and his considered, even elusive, manner of speaking, he would have made a great ambassador.Continue reading...
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