“I want you to know, for when your time comes,” Tyler told his wife, her sister and mother two days before he died, his curiosity about the mysteries of life and death undiminished, “that this isn’t really too bad. It’s quite dealable with.”
I had the good fortune to be Tony Tyler’s editor at MacUser, and to pay several visits to his and Kate’s lovely house down near Hastings. I also had the exceptional pleasure of the annual MacUser columnist’s lunch, at which Tony, Charles Shaar-Murray and Paul Nesbit would drink, eat, cackle loudly and tell outrageous stories – Tony’s the most entertaining, and outrageous of all. Stumbling out of the restaurant, we’d head to a pub.
The first time I met Tony was a few months into my career at the magazine, at the annual judging for the MacUser Awards. The judges – a motley group of contributors and staff – took the judging very seriously. Not quite fist-fight seriously, but you sometimes felt that if they opened just one more bottle of wine (of which there was a lot) there would be, at the very least, a little fisticuffs. Tony’s first words to the group were “I don’t bloody know what I’m doing here – I don’t know anything about these products”. His first words to me – responding to the presence of a professional teacher doing the education category, and spoken as we pissed side by side the in toilets, were “I fucking hate teachers. Bastards the lot of them”.
But don’t for one second think that Tony was a pissed up old hack. He was one of the smartest, cleverest and funniest people I’ve ever met. He also had a wonderful and gracious manner. I’ll miss him very much.