A former local news reporter who went on to oversee a national daily’s coverage of the moon landings has died at the age of 76.
Mike Taylor joined the Daily Mirror on his 25th birthday and just a year later became one of the youngest ever night editors in national newspapers.
He started his career on the Warrington Guardian before he moved to the Runcorn Guardian and then the Evening Argus in Brighton.
After he joined the Daily Mirror, his gift for headline writing and subbing was noticed by legendary editor-in-chief Hugh Cudlipp who soon appointed him night editor.
Described as ‘flamboyant, hard-working and happy-go-lucky’, he won a reputation for his fair treatment of staff when Fleet Street’s bosses could be tough task-masters.
Mike Molloy, who was Mirror editor for 10 years from 1975 during the time that Mike was his deputy, told the paper: “Mike was a good friend and I never knew him do a mean or malicious thing, which is not a bad record for Fleet Street.”
Former editor and friend David Banks described him as “one of the very best”.
He was particularly proud of the coverage of the first manned moon landing in 1969 and kept a replica of the metal printing plate on his desk.
Mike retired on his 50th birthday in 1987, 25 years to the day after starting at the paper, and moved to Sweden to be with his second wife, working as a freelance sub-editor.
He was married first to Noreen, who became a feature writer on the Daily Mirror.
One of his two children from Mike’s first marriage is the Hollywood actress Natascha McElhone, 44, who adopted her mother Noreen’s maiden name as her stage name.
The other is Damon, a writer who lives in Los Angeles.
Noreen’s second husband, media commentator and one time Daily Mirror editor Roy Greenslade said: “After their divorce, I married Noreen, which led Mike to refer to me ever after as his husband-in-law or, sometimes, his common-law husband.”
Mike’s second wife was Swedish journalist Margareta Rost who died in January 2013. They are survived by their two sons, Alexander and Nicholas.
He died in a Swedish nursing home on Friday.