Rupert Murdoch was the guest of honour at a small private lunch held at The Garrick club in London in memory of the late Arthur Brittenden.
Murdoch joined a group of about 30 old friends who came together to remember ‘Britt’.
The former editor of the Daily Mail and deputy editor of The Sun died in April, aged 90 leaving strict instructions that he did not want a memorial service or even a proper funeral – his cremation was unattended.
“But he didn’t say anything about having a lunch in his memory,” said one old friend.
Colleagues and friends from the Mail group, News UK and Bell Pottinger who toasted his memory included Kelvin MacKenzie, Charlie Wilson, Charles Garside, Jane Reed, Robin Esser, Brian MacArthur, Trevor Kavanagh, James McManus, Eve Pollard, Sir Nicholas Lloyd and Lord Bell.
Christopher Ward spoke about the man who became his mentor and friend from an early age.
Philippa Kennedy, who organsed the event, read out messages from people who couldn’t be there, including Les Hinton, Stuart Kuttner and Celia Haddon.
Several guests got to their feet to share anecdotes about ‘Britt’, who was described in his Times obituary as "a towering figure in Fleet Steet".
Murdoch said: “Arthur was a tremendously talented Sun executive who I am proud to have called a friend. As part of a brilliant journalistic team he took and kept the Sun at the top of its game. I know I speak for you all when I say I will miss him.”
Others who attended included Glenn Goodey, Tom Petrie, John Kay, Bill Newman, Monty Court, Ann Leslie, Bill Lear, Joyce Hopkirk, Keith McDowall, Ian Hepburn, Monty Meth, Colin Dunne, Bill Greaves, John Winnington-Ingram, Tony Rocca, Hilary Bonner and Jack Crossley