David Taylor

David John Taylor, former editor of Punch, died on 13 November after suffering from a brain tumour. He was 54.

Taylor, born in Stoke-on-Trent, attended Newcastle-under-Lyme High School, before moving on to Magdalene College, Cambridge.

It was while he was at Cambridge that he became interested in journalism and by 1968 he was working as editor of the university newspaper Varsity.

During his editorship, Prince Charles arrived at Trinity and Taylor persuaded him to write a feature about his first impressions of the college.

At the age of 20 Taylor was first introduced to Alan Coren, who was to become a great influence. Coren, then a Punch columnist, who went on to become one of its most  talented editors, joined Taylor in a Cambridge Union debate. The following morning he interviewed Coren for Varsity.

On leaving Cambridge, Taylor joined the staff of Punch, working as a writer and later became Coren’s deputy when he took over the editorship from William Davis.

In 1988 Taylor became editor. Punch’s circulation had fallen drastically, from its wartime peak of 150,000 to just 65,000.

He brought in new and younger contributors in a bid to boost the magazine’s ailing circulation.

Taylor had been overseeing Punch for just eight months when he was invited abroad to pick up an award for producing the best satirical title in Europe.

On his return he was instructed by the management to clear his desk.

Taylor went on to contribute a regular motoring column for The Daily Telegraph and wrote for, as well as edited, a variety of specialist magazines.

He was one of the best and funniest writers of his generation and his most notable contributions to Punch were his weekly interviews, written as a parody in the style of the interviewee.

More recently, Taylor edited Business Life, The London Magazine and, for seven years,  Queste.

Until his illness, he was editor of Nikon Pro and Business Standards.

Taylor was a devoted husband and father who loved to spend time with his family.

His interests included cars, bell ringing and golf.

He is survived by his widow, Ann, and two daughters.

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