Monday 3 May 2021
When Nick emerged from the fugue state he generally was in when he was writing he'd exhale, a sign he was ready to tell a story. You were well advised to put down your reporter's tools and listen. They were like parables drawn from his many assignments and they always had nuggets of wisdom - sometimes a bit chilling. Like, when he told us that when you are handed a farewell packet after leaving a dictator's prison, dump it in the trash as soon as possible. He had learned from experience that the prisoner's “care package” might be laced with poison or a tracking device.
Sometimes he dispensed more mundane writing and editing advice. He was a journalist's journalist... (He'd call that a "cliche" - and jape you for it with a gotcha grin).
He didn't need to spend so much time talking about the central obsession of Fleet Street. What makes a good lead and nut paragraph? How do you make your work stand out? What makes a story read like poetry? All you needed for that was to read a Nick Moore signature story. Always clear, crackling prose, and wit. Never wordy. He was a master in applying gravity and levity at the appropriate moment. Lucky to have worked with him and to have had him as a friend. RIP Nick. ■