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Diary: Industry pays tribute to Gail Amber at Shampers

A bittersweet evening last week at the appropriately named Shampers wine bar in Soho, where old friends of the one-time Campaign journalist Gail Amber raised glasses of bubbly in her memory.

Amber, who died in May aged 62, was one of the magazine's best-known writers for a decade from the mid-70s, reporting on the industry throughout its Champagne-swilling days until the time the fizz started to go flat.

Indeed, the always larger-than-life and often eccentric Amber was rarely seen around town without a glass of Bolly in one hand and her trademark cigarette holder in the other. The cartoonist Gray Jolliffe, the BBC's media correspondent Torin Douglas and the veteran media man John Ayling were among those who gathered to swap stories.

Ayling recalled how Amber had reported on him setting up on his own. "Blimey," the former Campaign editor Bernard Barnett remarked, "it must have been the only media story she ever wrote!"

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