Brian Bass, a former Mirror journalist and managing editor of the British Journalism Review, has died aged 86.
Bass spent 28 years at the Mirror, where he was affectionately known as “Basso”. He worked as a sub-editor, associate night editor, production editor and features editor for the paper until his retirement in 1993.
Caro Cluskey, Bass’ second wife, said his two stints as features editor were his “most successful and impactful” times at the paper.
Bass passed away on Tuesday (13 August) after suffering from pneumonia.
Mirror staffer Robin Porter remembered Bass as one of the “happiest, liveliest and most decisive” people in the features department at the Mirror’s former headquarters in Holborn, central London.
He said: “Always immaculately turned out, with an alarming selection of lurid bow ties, Basso loved the Mirror, loved the work and loved to encourage staff in one of the loudest and most unmistakable voices ever heard on the editorial floor.”
Former Mirror editor-in-chief Mike Molloy said: “Brian was a fine man and a gifted journalist, but perhaps his greatest gift was his positive and cheerful attitude to life.
“When the door opened one was always glad to see the great Basso. Many, many people will miss him.”
Roy Greenslade said Bass was “so very good” to him during his time in the Mirror editor’s chair, with a “wonderful, winning, can-do attitude”.
“The world is a worse place without Brian,” Greenslade said.
“He was the most positive, most optimistic, most happy of people. His smile seemed to be permanent. I never worked with anyone who was more helpful than him.”
Bass started his career on the Peterborough Advertiser straight after leaving school before moving to the Boston Guardian, Ilkeston Pioneer and Sunday Mercury in Birmingham.
He then spent three years in Manchester working on the Express and Mail before moving to London for the Daily Mail.
Since 1993, Bass had a parallel freelance career designing and editing corporate newspapers and magazines, including the Journalists’ Charity newsletter.
From 2002 he spent ten years as managing editor of the British Journalism Review, serving on the journal’s management board, and most recently he assisted his wife Caro as she edited newsletters for the Association of Mirror Pensioners.
British Journalism Review chairman and former Mirror man Bill Hagerty said: “Brian was a consummate journalist – editing, sub-editing, page design, headlines, captions – he could do them all and do them superbly.
“More importantly he was a pleasure to work with, a permanently cheerful companion very much valued by all who worked with or for him. I shall miss him dreadfully.”
Ex-Mirror staffer Pauline McLeod added: “Brian was the loveliest features editor I ever worked for – always a glass-half-full kind of a guy, even when said glass was empty.
“Kind, funny, thoughtful and the best company, I always thought of him as a chum as well as being my boss. I’m going to miss him enormously.”
Bass is survived by his wife Caro, sons Glynn and Russell, daughter Alyson, and three grandchildren.
Funeral details are yet to be finalised but will be made available soon at the mirrorpensioners.co.uk website.
Picture: Russell Bass