Chris Kelly recalls working with James Cameron

I produced the stuff there (in Gibraltar), as I say, with James Cameron.

Tell me about that.
Well, as I say James… James could sober up enough to write in half an hour what you’d been thinking all week. So he began his piece – I think it was for the Evening Standard, or whichever paper he worked for the time – by saying, “An international incident over Gibraltar is rather like an international incident over the Edgeway Road.” And I (laughs) I took him up to the top of the rock where all the apes are, and we were all very hung over, to tell you the truth. I was so hung over that I sat on the floor of a lift, and when he got to the top he said, “My brave boy.” And then, having done a few reports on that, Barry had sort of telexed me, or whatever you did in those days, and said, “Stay. Do some more.” So we went to Tangiers to do some stuff there. This is what I mean about big, adventurous and trusting.

This was all done with Cameron?
This was all done with Cameron, yes. On a good day! (Chuckles) Yes.

So Cameron had to get a little drunk?
Well, yes, he was… yes, he did like a drink. But it didn’t matter because he was, as I say, when he went into his work he was the best. And he always had this wonderful sense of humour. He was just wonderful to be around. I remember he won journalist of the decade on What the Papers Say and I rang him to congratulate him, and he said he thought they had got it all wrong and he was really ‘decayed’ journalist of the year. You know, looking back they were great days, they were wonderful days, and you never expect to see their like again, honestly. I mean, I did lots of other stuff that I found very fulfilling and satisfying, but never feeling you were part of a really committed, strong, important team.

Leave a Reply