We’ll not see Jocelyn's like again

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DAVID HARDY, former Daily Express sub-editor and NUJ representative, who met Jocelyn Stevens in pay talks back in the 1970s and 80s, remembers an extraordinary man.

A sad morning methinks … Jocelyn Stevens finally ends up on the spike, as had so many of his employees.

I am somewhat saddened. Although he was without doubt one the bigger bastards I ever worked for, as a member of several chapel negotiating teams, I always found him to be very funny, often drunken or high on other substances, and always unusual, but entertaining.

The meetings always seemed to go on until the late and then early hours. He often adjourned meetings because he had to change to go to some plush dinner. We merry lads were then told to go the Italian trattoria next door where he had a tab.

One merry  late night, Don Berry fell off his chair having nodded off. “On that note gentlemen,” said Jocelyn, “I think we’ll adjourn and reconvene tomorrow afternoon.”

On another occasion he jumped up and shouted: “That’s it. I’m finished with you. I am going.” He strode to the door and as he opened it, one of our number piped up: “Are you going Jocelyn, or are you GOING?”

JS paused and replied: “We’ll adjourn now. Back  in 15 minutes.”

I wasn’t there, but I was told that once as the hours ticked by, he said: “If I give you another one per cent, can we all please fuck off?”

We shall not see his like again. In some ways sadly not. The spirit of Fleet Street is the poorer for it.

© 2005-2019 Alastair McIntyre