Sunday Telegraph foreign correspondent Ronald Payne dies aged 87

Sunday Telegraph foreign correspondent Ronald Payne has died aged 87.

 

According to the Telegraph, one of Payne’s “most striking” assignments was interviewing Colonel Gaddafi of Libya in 1976.

 

Gaddafi is said to have delayed the interview by ten days and when he did speak to Payne he greeted unwanted questions with long silences.

 

The article was translated into Arabic for a Tripoli newspaper as a “propagandist hymn”. The translator later offered “a small apology for taking certain liberties”.

 

Payne’s first job in journalism came at the Reading Mercury, which he joined after studying at Oxford University, according to the Telegraph.

 

He then became a leader writer at the Evening Standard before joining the Telegraph as a reporter.

 

Along with Christopher Dobson in 1979, they set up Now, a short-lived news magazine. It lasted 19 months before the pair returned to Fleet Street as freelances.

 

They also published a number of books largely based on conflict and espionage.

 

Payne continued to produce columns and features for The Sunday Telegraph during this time.

 

He and his third wife, Telegraph pet correspondent Celia Haddon, retired to Oxfordshire after leaving Fleet Street.

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