Jameson was born to an unmarried woman and raised by Agnes Wren, who informally fostered a succession of homeless children. When he was seven or eight he discovered that one of the other people living in the house was his mother, but they never developed a parent-child relationship. He was evacuated to Bishop's Stortford during World War II, but part of his time was spent in a home for unmanageable boys.
He entered journalism as a messenger boy and worked his way to the top, editing the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Star and News of the World. He also broadcasts regularly on the BBC radio and television services.
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