My ugly mug’s now appeared because Jim has had to stop

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth            Picture: PA

RICK JACKSON: The patriotism inspired by HMS Queen Elizabeth is wonderful

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If you’re wondering why my ugly mug has started appearing on this page on Tuesdays instead of regular columnist Jim Riordan, then I can explain.

Sadly, after more than six years of filing his weekly diatribes, Jim has had to give up column-writing duties because of ill health.

Jim, a man of many talents including children’s author, professor of Russian and one-time Spartak Moscow footballer, certainly stirred people up with his trenchant views on whatever issues of the day caught his eye.

But then that’s the hallmark of a good columnist. Whether you agree or disagree with them, they get a response.

I’m sure you’ll join with me and everybody at The News in sending Jim and his family our very best wishes.