Roger Nuttall: Former City editor who demoted himself so he could work as reporter again

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Financial journalist and former City editor of the Mail on Sunday Roger Nuttall has died aged 82 after suffering from prostate cancer.

Roger began his working life as an actuary – which he was fond of describing as “a job for people who find accountancy too stimulating” – and drifted into journalism via the trade press.

In his earlier career he worked variously for the Times and the Telegraph. In 1974 he joined the Mail on Sunday working as deputy to City editor Patrick Sergeant, before taking over from him.

Roger’s love was writing rather than editing. Like many working people as they rise through the ranks he found himself organising other people rather doing what he loved to do.

So in 1989 he “demoted” himself by quitting the Mail on Sunday and joining the Daily Express as a jobbing reporter on the City pages.

At the turn of the millennium he turned freelance and edited the newly revived City gossip column Blackfriar for the Daily Express before falling victim to cost-cutting at the paper.

In his latter years, before retiring, Roger continued to work as a freelance, advising on the serialisation of books for The Times and occasionally writing obituaries for people who were still alive.

Roger was the archetypal self-made man. Supremely intelligent and interested in everything from art to poetry to politics and science, he read copiously and was one of the best-informed men around.

His great passion was jazz and he once played the trombone with various ad hoc bands of journalists.

He married twice and is survived by both wives, four children and two grandsons.

His son by his second wife, Tom Nuttall, is now the EU columnist for The Economist writing under the name of Charlemagne. His daughter Peggy works as a senior editor in a media company in Carnaby Street.

Roger died at his home in Colliers Wood, quietly and peacefully on Thursday 19 May.

Written by Patsy Trench, Roger Nuttall’s second wife.

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