Phil Mackie Dies, Aged 79

A former reporter with the Edinburgh Evening News, who is understood to have been the first ex-journalist employed as a press advisor to royalty, has died.

Phil Mackie, who held senior positions at the paper from 1967-1984, worked for Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

He was aged 79. 

Writes Brian Ferguson: “The former crime reporter was to travel the world with Charles and Diana before their marriage broke up, but latterly became personal press secretary to the Prince.”

Mackie is said to have worked for the Falkirk Mail, the Daily Record and the Scottish Daily Express before joining Scotsman Publications as a promotions manager.

Adds Ferguson: “[Mackie] went on to become deputy editor and associate editor at the Evening News, where he masterminded charity fundraising events, which led to encounters with celebrities like Sir Jimmy Savile, Michael Crawford, Angela Rippon, Tom Baker and David Bellamy, as well as members of the Royal Family.”

Ian Nimmo, who was Mackie’s editor at the Evening News latterly, is quoted, as saying: “Phil was a livewire reporter with a background in hard news reporting on the Glasgow crime scene. He knew many of the notorious criminals of the day, including the serial killer, Peter Manuel.

“He worked his way up the promotion ladder in a tough school of journalism at a time when competition across the Central Belt was ferocious and only the best man won the story.

“He worked on a high level of energy, ideas sparking and it is hard to remember him ever sitting down.”

Read Nimmo's obituary, published here in today's Scotsman.