Marje Schilsky was a copytaker for the Daily Worker/Morning Star and, in the late 1970s and 1980s, for the Daily Telegraph. This was a role whereby reporters used to phone their stories in to a copytaker who would contemporaneously type them up.
She had at one time considered becoming a nun, an aspiration she dropped when she moved instead to the Press Association and met and married Rene Schilsky. She played the organ and wrote concert reviews for the Morning Star. Her mastery of 18th- and 19th-century music, enabled her to correct critics on details for Mozart’s works.
Her work for the Daily Telegraph was sufficiently awesome for the Conservative paper to write her obituary. Her ability was such that she would tactfully ask a writer if he realised that he had begun his last three sentences with the word "And", or would comment after taking down a particularly convoluted sentence, "Ooh, I don’t like that." “This was all the more distressing for being invariably right, ” the obituary revealed!
"Marje Schilsky’s soft youthful voice often encouraged young reporters to flirt with her over the telephone," says the Telegraph, "until she informed them that she was in her 50s, married with two children, was a communist and weighed 20 stone."
She died on April 20 2004, aged 70.
Source: Daily Telegraph May 10th 2004
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