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Memorial Services

Features | By James Hughes-Onslow

Alexander, left, and Jeremy at an Oldie Literary Lunch in April 2016

We bid farewell to a much loved editor and deputy editor

ALEXANDER CHANCELLOR CBE1940 - 2017Three writers paid tribute to Alexander Chancellor, former editor of The Oldie and the Spectator, at St Paul’s, Covent Garden. When businessman Henry Keswick asked Chancellor to edit the Spectator, it was a bolt from the blue, said Piers Paul Read, who met him 56 years ago at Cambridge. ‘His taking the job, with no editorial experience to draw on, shows a quality which his amiable, bumbling and amateurish manner often concealed. He was ambitious and strong-willed and willing to try anything. If he had been asked to be Prime Minister, he would have given it a go.’ Patrick Marnham, former literary editor of the Spectator, recalled his catchphrases. ‘One was “Nightmare...” Had he broken his leg? Burnt the toast? “Tense” was another favourite, qualified at more serious moments as “slightly tense”. “Slightly tense” was much worse than “complete nightmare”. You had to brace yourself for...

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