- 05 Sep 13
In a week which has already been marked by tragedy, Hot Press received the very sad news of the death of Linda Duff, who began her journalistic career working for Hot Press in the early 1980s.
Originally from Artane, on the north side of Dublin, Linda worked initially in the Hot Press advertising department, but soon afterwards began to write for the magazine. A short time later, she wrote a letter to the editor of Smash Hits - the huge selling pop glossy which dominated the UK market at the time - and he was sufficiently impressed with her style to offer Linda a job.
"Linda loved music," Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said. "And the 1980s was a time of opportunity in that the amount of coverage of music was beginning to expand rapidly across a whole range of media. She grasped that opportunity with great determination – and success. She was one of those people who had a natural flow, so it was no surprise that she flourished in the tough world of journalism in the UK. We lost touch, as tends to happen when we are leading busy lives in separate countries – but I will always remember her as the unaffected young woman with a passion for music who started out on her career with us, all those years go."
Having written for Smash Hits through a significant part of the 1980s, Linda went on to work for the Daily Mirror and was subsequently appointed Pop Editor with the Daily Star, where she worked for many years.
"She was well known throughout the Irish and British music industry," her brother Denis told Hot Press today, "and she was associated with the launch and promotion of many acts, as diverse as Take That, Westlife, Pet Shop Boys, Sultans of Ping, and The Vipers, to name just a few."
Barry McIlheney CEO of the Professional Publishers Association, who also began his career writing for Hot Press and who worked with Linda on Smash Hits (where he became editor) before later becoming launch editor of Empire and then MD of EMAP Metro extended his condolences to the Duff family."That is very sad news... I knew Linda well in the late '80s, it seems like only yesterday."
Linda, who died suddenly, at the age of just 53, is survived by her brothers and sisters Dermot, Imelda, Denis, Vivian, Frank and Barbara. The removal to St Anthony's Church, St. Laurences Road, Clontarf takes place on Friday, arriving for 5.30pm. The funeral mass takes place at 11.15am on Saturday 7th in St. Anthony's Church, followed by burial in Dardistown Cemetery, Cloghran.
Below is a tribute from Dave Sweeney, which expresses what so many people felt about Linda...
David Sweeney: Just heard the very sad news about Linda. We were buddies in the 1980s in London. The heady days of the Vipers, Smash Hits and the Daily Mirror. Unforgettable times, great gigs, wild parties, many many laughs and music , music, music. Linda was (is) one of the most joyful, generous and enthusiastic people I have ever met. My record collection is still full of albums or limited edition singles Linda gave me. Then there was the free subscription to the Sunday Times with all the supplements which arrived every week for years as a result of a chance meeting we both had in the Yorkshire Grey. Linda once gave me a very expensive book on guitars which had the inscription "To George best wishes for now and all the good times ahead and there will be lots!" I still have that book and Linda was right. God bless her. 'George'