A firm handshake and a warm, friendly manner

I met Jay on Wednesday 19 March 2014, and was greeted by that broad, genuine smile that I would soon come to know – and with a firm handshake and a warm, friendly manner. If I close my eyes and put myself back in that office chair, on the fourth floor of the BBC Scotland building in Pacific Quay in Glasgow – I can still see him walking towards me, wearing his beanie hat that he often adorned to help him think. From the moment I shook his hand, I knew that we would be friends. Jay had walked to work that morning in the rare fresh spring sunshine of Glasgow from the north of the city centre, and his first comment was how pleasurable it had been to actually walk to work. He seemed genuinely happy to be in Glasgow – and it was unquestionably a pleasure for me to meet him. The next day (as is typical with Glasgow weather) it rained – and he hadn’t brought a jacket – but nothing, it seemed, could dull that familiar grin of his.

Martin Conaghan