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Tributes paid after columnist loses cancer battle

An award-winning columnist and writer who worked for a Scottish daily for nearly 40 years has lost her battle with cancer.

Anne Simpson, left, joined The Herald in 1975 and worked for the title ever since, writing her final piece for the paper just weeks ago.

She began her journalism career when she joined the Yorkshire Post straight from school and was pursuaded to join The Herald in 1975 by newly-appointed editor Iain Lindsay Smith, who worked with her on the Post.

During her time at The Herald, she edited the women’s pages, wrote features and high-profile interviews, worked as the paper’s radio writer and wrote about fashion.

Anne was also the partner of well-known former Herald editor Arnold Kemp for nearly 20 years until his death in 2002, after they met while both working at the title.

Tributes have been paid after Anne died at the Marie Curie Hospice in Glasgow last Friday.

In a story about her death, Herald editor Magnus Llewellin said: “Her interviews were always perceptive but also beautifully written too. She will be missed by her colleagues but also by readers of The Herald.”

Among her high-profile interviewees were Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Seamus Heaney, Alex Ferguson and John Le Carre and she won a number of awards, including British Fashion Writer of the Year.

Former Herald editor Harry Reid has written an appreciation about Anne’s life, describing her as “an exceptional journalist”.

He wrote: “Anne Simpson (Annie to her many friends, colleagues and relatives) was an exceptional journalist whose work, always finessed, always polished and true, adorned this newspaper for almost 40 years.

“She was a careful, even fastidious, writer, though she could send copy against the clock with the best of them.

“She was a very stylish woman: stylish in her persona, stylish in her journalism and stylish in her zestful appreciation of the better things in life, which included not just fine clothes and fine creative art but love and friendship; although she was essentially a private person, she had many friends.

“She also brought a distinct dash of the exotic into some pretty drab environments. Scottish newspaper offices are not always the most glamorous of places. Wherever she was, wherever she worked, Annie brought with her a touch of class and an aura of elegance.”

Harry added: “She soon turned the women’s section of The Glasgow Herald into something much more vibrant, even cutting edge; and she herself wrote with sparkle and authority, particularly about fashion, though she had a very wide range.

“She soon found an enormous affinity with Glasgow; later she was to write a notable and appropriately stylish essay on ‘Glasgow style’.

“As The Glasgow Herald became more expansive and less parochial she was sent on assignments around the world.

“She had an exceptional eye for colourful detail and her reports were very polished; there was never a hint of the occasionally stressful circumstances in which she had to file copy.”

Anne is survived by her three sisters, Stephanie, Bridget and Claire.