Barrister and 'Rumpole' author John Mortimer dies, aged 85


LONDON – Tributes have been poured in for Rumpole of the Bailey author Sir John Mortimer, who died yesterday morning after a long illness at his home in Buckinghamshire. He was 85.

Tony Lacey, his editor at Viking, said: “It’s hard to think he’s gone. At least we’re lucky enough to have Rumpole to remind us just how remarkable he was.”

Culture secretary Andy Burnham said the writer and barrister would be “sorely missed”.

Mortimer will be best remembered for his Rumpole books about the eponymous Old Bailey criminal defence barrister, the first of which was published in 1978 and later became a TV series.

In 1970 he wrote the autobiographical play and book A Voyage Round My Father and, in 1982, Clinging to the Wreckage, a volume of his autobiography which sold a quarter of a million copies in the UK. He received a CBE in 1986 and was knighted in 1998. – (PA)