Young Edinburgh journalist graduates from uni course shaped by legendary grandpa

A YOUNG journalist is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather after graduating from the university course he helped establish more than 40 years ago.

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 5:17 pm
Bill Allsopp and grandson Rory Hill.
Bill Allsopp and grandson Rory Hill.

Rory Hill admitted he was determined to make grandad Bill Allsop “proud” by finishing his studies at Edinburgh Napier University less than a year after the legendary ex-Scottish Daily Express writer passed away.

The highly respected journalist - famed for his “outstanding” feature writing - set up the journalism course at the then-Napier College in 1976, counting television presenter Lorraine Kelly and Sky Sports’ Jim White among his former students.

And Rory, 21, is now hopeful of carrying on his legacy as he joined hundreds of other graduates at the Usher Hall to pick up his BA (Hons) degree.

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Rory Hill, 21, has graduated from the journalism course his grandfather, Bill Allsopp, helped found at Edinburgh Napier more than 40 years ago.

Rory, from East Calder, said: “I was always very close to my grandpa Bill. He had lots of remarkable stories from his years as a journalist, and he was very good at telling them.

“He always said: ‘There’s nothing more important than the story’, and as I got older he would pass on his knowledge to me, including writing tips and interviewing techniques.

Rory added: “He inspired me to pursue a career in journalism and I like to think that if he bestowed such passion in me long after he retired, he must have inspired those he taught and mentored both as a journalist and a lecturer.”

Bill, who passed away last August at the age of 85, began his career as a copy boy at the Daily Mail, before moving on to local news with stints in Dingwall and Newtonards, Northern Ireland.

Bill Allsopp, pictured above, made his name in feature writing at the Scottish Daily Express

He later moved to the Essex Chronicle and was chief reporter at the Oban Times before joining the Express in Glasgow, where he established himself as one of the country’s most respected writers.

Allan Boughey, journalism lecturer at Edinburgh Napier, said: “Bill is one of the founding fathers of teaching journalism in Scotland, so it was naturally a real delight to have Rory study with us.”

“Rory is in great company with other former graduates of this course and it’s absolutely fitting that he should have attended the course that his grandfather helped to establish. I hope Bill would be proud of the highly practical approach we still take – that’s very much part of his legacy here.”