When I joined the Sunday Telegraph in 1986, after leaving the Daily Express, my appointment had been handled by two good pals – Graham Paterson, then the Home Editor and James MacManus, who had a sort of roving commission on the paper. I suppose you could term him “man of business” for Peregrine Worsthorne, who died earlier this month.In 1986 they both told me I’d been hired but that I just had to have a “dot the eyes and cross the tees” meeting with Worsthorne, the Editor. Having just left the unhappy Daily Express I’d had something like ten editors in 13 years – but none, not one, like this.

“But don’t worry,” my friends both said. “We’ve told him that you’re just the chap we need.”

I was ushered into the presence of “Perry” as all knew him and was dismayed to find that he didn’t seem at all enthusiastic about my joining his team. “I must say Mr Cochrane that you may well have been the Deputy Political Editor of the Daily Express …. but I have never heard of you.”