Derek Jameson

1985 Zigzag

unpublished feature

SELF-CONFESSED LOUD mouth and anti-establishment anarchist Derek Jameson, 56, one time editor of some Fleet Street’s most garish titles, is secretly planning to infiltrate BBC’s Radio Two and subject the unsuspecting British public to gramophone records by the likes of the notorious punk rock group, The Sex Pistols.

Zigzag gained a candid confession from Jameson when, earlier this week, I posed an a vacuum cleaner salesman and gained entry to his home – a basement flat in an insalubrious west London street well known to the police for its drug addicts and squatters.

I realised my cover was successful when Jameson’s attractive wife invited me in and offered me a cup of coffee and a hobnob.

I began by quizzing Jameson on his relationship with Sid Yobbo, the cartoon thug said to be based on Jameson created by the leading current affairs weekly Private Eye. Jameson’s libel suit against them resulted in his incurring 75,000 costs.

"The upper class twits of Private Eye take the view that anyone who leaves school at fourteen in the East End of London has got to be a yob and have a name like Sid."

Jameson broke down and wept at my feet. Resisting this obvious play for my sympathies, I continued probing in the uncompromising manner demanded by you, the Zigzag reader.

"Sid Yobbo has caused me a great deal of pain because I hope I'm a bit more caring, knowing and thoughtful than that image assumes. It was in defence of my dignity that I got involved in that dreadful libel action. The jury decided it was inflammatory but not malicious. In other words, they didn’t think that image was far off the mark.

"This is how it's been all through my life. Linda Lee Potter in the Daily Mail got it right when she said I was hypersensitive. She said I was boring, loud mouthed, cared for nobody and then said ‘what's he got to be so hypersensitive about?’. I’m on the council of the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) but you don’t see that in print because I don’t make a fuss about it. It’s a double-edge sword, on the one hand Mr Nice Guy, on the other, Sid Yobbo."

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 



mick sinclair

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