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Courage and wit

I have just had the shock of reading of my old mate Simon’s passing on The Baron. We worked together in Paris 86-89. I was once covering a secretive Paris Club debt rescheduling meet with some poor African country from the Foreign Min’s venue near the Arc de Triomphe. I had been promised the news from a participant so I could ring the Paris office with a snap, but actually two French ForMin thugs ripped the phone off me and threw me out. I could just stutter the snap of a debt accord to Simon before he said calmly as always “Tell the f…ers to f…k off or I’ll send the boys round!”


He was a love to work and be with. I just wish I had had the courage and wit to do as he did once - a feature trip taking in the three greatest French chefs around France, with his family, which must have cost the Baron a bloody fortune, but good for Simon!


I did mock him as many did as the Fat Ref, but he will be so missed. ■