'Brilliant' and 'remarkably gifted' journalist Paul Field dies aged 48

Fleet Street colleagues were shocked to learn that former national press high-flyer Paul Field has died aged 48 from a suspected heart attack.

Paul began his career on his local paper aged 15 and then joined the Daily Mirror as a trainee.

After a stint as a reporter on the Daily Mail he became deputy news editor of the Sunday People aged 26. A year later he was news editor of the Sunday Mirror.

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In 2000, aged 28, he became news editor of the Mail on Sunday. In 2003 he was headhunted by The Sun to run the newsdesk as associate editor (news) and in in 2004 he helped relaunch the National Enquirer in the US working in New York as its editor-in-chief.

He rejoined the Mail group of titles in 2006 where he was editor-in-chief of the Irish Daily Mail, associate editor of the Daily Mail and also part of the team which launched Mail Online.

Paul had been chief executive of video technology company Touchcast since December 2013.

Friends felt he would almost certainly have been a national newspaper editor had he not decided to pursue a career outside journalism.

Former Mail on Sunday editor Peter Wright said: “Paul was a brilliant journalist who joined the paper as its youngest-ever news editor.

“Not only did he have an unerring instinct for news, he built a team of highly talented reporters. He was devoted to his wife Michaela and their daughters, and will be hugely missed.”

Sunday Mirror editor Paul Henderson said: “I enjoyed the great privilege of working with Paul in London and New York.

“He’ll be ­remembered as a remarkably gifted journalist and a loyal friend.”

Freelance journalist and friend Rob McGibbon said: “I was seriously shocked and saddened to hear of Paul’s death. I first met him for more than 20 years ago and we became good mates, way beyond work.

“Journalism is full of tricky operators, but Paul was one of the good guys in our business. I know he relished his reputation as a tough and demanding boss around the newsroom, but I never saw that side of him. As a freelance, you couldn’t ask to meet anyone fairer or more honourable.
“I am finding it hard to nail down exactly why we got on so well, and why I liked him. I think it was basically his positive attitude, as well as his healthy cynicism towards the all-consuming importance of getting a paper out. Our conversations rarely centred around newspapers and we always had a laugh. He loved his family, Italy, good wine, designer clothes – and he could bang on about his excessively large vinyl collection forever.
“Our only worthwhile professional collaboration was when he got me to help him re-shape Weekend magazine in 2010. That led to The Definite Article interview column, which lasted seven years. I know he was proud of that column and so was I.
“Paul had a great energy and verve for life. I fear that he drove himself too hard and paid the ultimate price. Who knows.
“We used to enjoy drinking Tignanello red wine, so I will raise a glass of that in his memory. A fine wine for a very fine man. I only wish it was going on his expenses.”

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