Opinion: Sadness at death of former Evening Telegraph editor, writes Nigel Thornton

I remember the first page my nan used to turn to, when her evening paper dropped through her letter box, was always the family announcements.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 13th May 2022, 11:50 am
Kevin Booth was a former editor at the Peterborough Telegraph and remembered in this picture on his leaving do.
Kevin Booth was a former editor at the Peterborough Telegraph and remembered in this picture on his leaving do.

But it wasn’t births or marriages she was interested in, it was the deaths.

I used to pull her leg and called her grandma ghoul but she would just smile and say unapologetically: “When you get to my age, you want to know who’s died that you knew.’’

I’m not quite at that age yet but sadly, the number of people dying who I have come across is slowly but surely increasing each year. These days, particularly if like me you’ve moved around the country a bit, you’re more likely to find out sad news via social media.

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And so it was last week when I learned on Twitter that my old colleague Kevin Booth had died at the criminally young age of 64, one year older than me.

Kevin, some of you may remember, was a former editor of the ET. He was appointed in 2000 pipping me to the post (or so the motivational managing director told me at the time).

When a new editor comes in it’s an uncertain time for staff, not least the deputy editor as, in those days like football managers, editors had a tendency to bring their own people with them.

I needn’t have worried because Kev or Boothy, as he was affectionately known, pretty quickly made everyone at the ET his own people.

He was a talented journalist, a fine boss but most importantly a great bloke.

After he left, we would occasionally talk or email each other but as the years passed our contact diminished and we hadn’t talked for years.

Even so I still thought of him as a friend and if he ever cropped up in conversation at Telegraph Towers, as he did quite recently, the memories were always fond.

Rest easy, pal.