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July 4, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:00am

Young journalist graduates from university course set up by his ex-features writer grandfather

By James Walker

A young journalist has graduated from a university journalism course set up by his grandfather Bill Allsopp, a former Scottish Daily Express feature writer.

Allsopp (pictured, right) helped to launch the Edinburgh Napier University journalism course in 1976 and taught there until 1994. ITV star Lorraine Kelly and TV sports presenter Jim White were among his students.

The 85-year-old died in August last year while his grandson Rory Hill (pictured, left) was in the middle of his four-year undergraduate course.

The 21-year-old graduated yesterday at Usher Hall, Edinburgh, and said he took a lot of inspiration from his grandfather.

Hill 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.

“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.”

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Hill from East Calder, West Lothian, said his grandfather had made the course “very hands-on” and that his approach was still in place.

“Going into my final year without the support of my grandpa was extremely difficult as you can imagine, but overall, I feel it made me work harder so that I would make him proud,” he added.

Edinburgh Napier journalism lecturer Allan Boughey 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.”

He added that he hoped Allsopp would be “proud of the highly practical approach we still take”.

When the former Express journalist passed away, Lorraine Kelly told The Scotsman that he was a “very special man” that that the world would be a “sadder and much less interesting place without him”.

Pictures: Edinburgh Napier University

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