Obituary: Derrick Amoore

MAY I add some recollections to your obituary of Derrick Amoore (by Robert Rowland, 4 September)? writes Charles Wheeler.

Amoore's uncanny news-sense made him the most stimulating of editors. One morning he telephoned me in Washington: 'I think you should be in Haiti' - 'Why?' - 'Papa Doc is ill; I think he's going to die.'

Twenty hours later his hunch came true and Amoore was rewarded with the kind of pictures he enjoyed - of Baby Doc, like a large inflatable toy; of the lying-in- state, corpse dressed in dinner jacket, winged collar and heavy black boots, the bier guarded by Ton Ton Macoute in shades; and of panic-stricken crowds, fleeing from the funeral when the earth seemed to shake as the dictator was entombed.

Amoore's move from Current Affairs to be Editor, Television News, was not an easy one to make. The two departments had been at war for years, and old hands in the newsroom resented the intrusion of the star from Lime Grove. He, in turn, could be tactless. Visiting London, I was invited to what he called his Chimpanzee's Tea Party. It turned out to be his weekly planning meeting with the bulletin editors.

He was a free spirit, with a strong self-destructive streak, and perhaps he was too careless about making enemies. His departure from Television News, following an indiscretion his friends tried to hush up, was one of the nastier episodes in recent BBC history: it was engineered by a disgruntled reporter, who went to great lengths to make sure that a copy of Private Eye reached the highest levels at Broadcasting House.

If Amoore was bitter he never showed it. Neither did he appear to feel, as some of us did, that his job at Radio London was a shameful waste of his talents. He soldiered on until, like several of his generation of Lime Grove luminaries, he became a victim of a purge. He was a man who deserved better from the BBC.

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments