My Mentor: Jane Bruton on Jo Foley

'I went to her when i wanted to break out of honeymoon reporting'
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The Independent Online

I first met Jo Foley on a press trip to the Caribbean, 12 years ago. I was a 23-year-old rookie from Wigan who had landed the best job in the world, writing about five-star honeymoons for Wedding and Home; she was a veteran of the national press, writing about spas for The Times.

It soon became apparent who was really in charge of our trip when, to our PR minder's suggestion of dinner at the restaurant with "the best views of the island", Lady Foley, as I subsequently addressed her, said caustically, "Don't be ridiculous - it gets dark here at 6pm." So that night, we escaped our all-inclusive enclosure and checked out the local bars, downing cocktails until 4am.

I was young and foolish, and she wasn't, but we hit it off straight away. When I discovered that Jo had worked her way up from The Birmingham Post to The Times, The Sun and Daily Mirror (where she famously negotiated herself a navy-blue Porsche to match all her navy-blue frocks), I knew that this was my kind of woman.

Because she has edited three magazines, she was my first port of call when I decided I wanted to break out of honeymoon reporting to develop my own magazine idea for IPC. Jo has always pushed and nurtured my imagination and originality. She is brutally honest but I always forgive her for rubbishing one of my Grazia covers because she's equally full of praise when I have got it right.

We've never actually worked on the same magazine but we have the same journalistic ethos. We're both wordsmiths, so it goes against the grain to cut copy, but Jo's mantra is that pictures must come first, and she's adamant that you should be able to tell a story in 100 words. Adjectives, to Jo, are useless, worthless, pointless extra words.

Magazines excite us both, and when a new one launches, we always go through it, page by page, over two bottles of wine and a few Twiglets.

Jane Bruton is the editor of Grazia

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