Martin Graham Scott, a former news editor with ITV News, died after sustaining major injuries in a car crash.
He was 41.
Martin was the gentleman news editor of his day. As a reporter on the road, I well remember that he would start a robust conversation with a phrase like “now listen here, old chap, that simply didn’t pass muster.” He was never in the slam-the-phonedown school of journalism. But he was a tough, focused and decisive news editor.
During his three-year stint on the desk, I moved across to be his boss.
But it was never a traditional hierarchical relationship – far from it.
He was a joy to work with and we became firm friends. He and his wife Stephanie were staying at our home over the Bank Holiday weekend of August 1997. We’d had far too much to drink, staggered to bed in the small hours, and were shocked back into life by a middle-of-the-night pager message.
Princess Diana had died.
We were too well-oiled to drive to London, but Steph was pregnant at the time, and had knocked back nothing but water all night.
She ferried us into town, and Martin took over the newsdesk for our later flagship programmes on that crucial evening.
As ever, he enjoyed the immediate confidence of everyone around him.
Calm but clear despite, or perhaps because of, the hangover.
His was always easy company, witty and warm. We knew him as “Loadsanames” – a nickname he adopted himself.
He would joke that any of his names could go first – it made no difference.
Martin and Steph made a terrific couple, having met while working together in ITV regional news.
Martin had cut his teeth at Central, then LNN. After his career there, he moved on to a new chapter in media consultancy, working widely across the industry, especially in the development of interactive channels.
He had two beautiful children – Kitty, six, and Archie, three. They were both badly hurt in the accident which took Martin’s life.
A lorry was in collision with their car during their family holiday in Cornwall. Kitty has multiple fractures and Archie has extensive injuries, including to his head. It’s early days for both of them – and for Steph, who faces unimaginable challenges.
Those of us who were lucky enough to count Martin as a friend know that he’ll be with her – in spirit – all the way. Nothing else would pass muster, old chap.