A former Sky News anchor has paid tribute to the regional daily where he began his career after paying a return visit to the paper.
Broadcaster Jeremy Thompson started out on the Cambridge News as a school leaver in 1967 after being rejected by five other provincial titles,
Jeremy was back in the city this week to promote his newly-published autobiography, entitled Breaking News, which begins with an account of his time in Cambridge.
He told News reporter Chris Elliott he will “always be grateful” to the paper for his start in journalism as he recalled his early career on the paper at its former offices on Newmarket Road.
Said Jeremy, pictured above left: “I’d applied to several newspapers, in Bristol, Brighton, Southampton, Plymouth, Oxford and Cambridge, and the first five suggested I sign up for a media course, but the News, then the Cambridge Evening News, invited me for an interview.”
“The first time I went out, I was about to climb into my battered old Austin A40, when the news editor came up to me and pointed at my legs, asking ‘What are those?’
“When I replied, ‘my legs’, he suggested, quite bluntly, that I should use them, instead of going by car.”
Jeremy says in his book: “He was right. Walking the highways and byways of Cambridge, taking buses out into the villages, using my eyes and ears, talking to everyone I could
find, knocking on doors and asking questions – all this proved an invaluable lesson. I soon learned how to spot stories.”
After his stint at the News Jeremy moved into radio and then TV with the BBC before finally joining Sky.
He was the first journalist to broadcast live as British peacekeepers entered Kosovo, witnessed Nelson Mandela’s election as president and also covered both Gulf Wars before becoming Sky’s rolling news anchor.
Jeremy had joined the News four years after the assassination of John F Kennedy, and is fascinated by the recently-revealed story of how the paper received a mysterious phone call, half an hour before the president’s death, telling a reporter that ‘big news’ was about to break.
He said: “I never found out anything about that – but it was the Kennedy assassination itself, which happened while I was still at school, that inspired me to become a journalist.”