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Dimbleby leads tributes to long-serving former editor

Broadcaster David Dimbleby has led the tributes to a former editor of the Richmond and Twickenham Times who has died aged 70.

Malcolm Richards, left, edited the paper, formerly part of Mr Dimbleby’s newspaper group, for 27 years until his retirement.

At the time he was the country’s longest-serving editor and only the fifth editor of the paper, founded in 1873 and owned by the Dimbleby family for more than 125 years until its sale to Newsquest in 2001.

His funeral was held at St Mary Magdalene Church, Richmond on Wednesday.

During the service 150 people heard Mr Dimbleby describe Malcolm as a hard-working journalist who played a huge part in the community.

He said: “We were all shocked by the news of Malcolm’s sudden death. He had always seemed so full of life – and full of plans for the future.”

Mr Dimbleby added: “All of us here knew him either as his friend or colleague on the newspapers or for his work in and around the town. Many of us knew him as all three – because he had a great capacity for friendship and loyalty to his friends which extended to a wide circle.

“But our thoughts today must be for his closest friends – you know who you were – and for his family – his brother Clive – and especially for Errol, his companion and partner for 35 years.”

Malcolm joined the Dimbleby group of newspapers when he was 22 after being trained on the Bridgewater Mercury becoming editor after previous holder Reg Ward retired.

He died at the West Middlesex Hospital on August 15 following a heart attack.

Mr Dimbleby continued: “Malcolm was a consummate editor. He knew exactly what the community required from their newspaper and set out to provide it.

“News was his first priority – hard news and after that probably the pages of reader’s letters: the weekly speaker’s corner which gave the community a voice.

“Diffident about the value of his own views he was sometimes hesitant about the value of leader writing – and I used sometimes to have to insist he write a weekly editorial.

“I did not always agree with what he wrote – but I was a virtuous proprietor in that I left the politics of the paper to him.”


Ivy Likes (13/09/2008 23:03:07)
David Dimbleby, virtuous?
For God’s sake, as proprietor of the R+T Times he was notorious as one of the meanest and low-paying media employers in the country.
Only he could have the ego and conceit to call himself virtuous…

ExExpress (15/09/2008 13:44:34)
Mr Dimbleby said he was virtous in that he left the politics to Malcolm. He doesn’t claim anything else..

Roger Jones (15/09/2008 17:31:15)
While not wishing to detract from the obit and tribute to someone who was obviously a first-class community journalist – and worthy of much respect – I am sure he would have known how to spell Bridgwater! (There’s no medial ‘e’.) Journalistic standards certainly aren’t what they used to be.