Back Issues 22.07.04

A LOT OF FRONT

Lads’ mag Front had put two fingers up to the Press Complaints Commission by running an adjudication upheld against it in ye olde English script. The PCC had condemned Front for running articles by Reggie Kray, the convicted London gangster, and making payments to the “Free Reggie”campaign.Unrepentanteditor Piers Hernu told Press Gazette: “I’d like to know whocomplained and I’d like their address. And I’m sure Reggie would too.”

COSTLY GUARDIAN ERROR

Singer Patti Boulaye had accepted £15,000 libel damages over an article in The Guardian alleging that she advocated supporting apartheid. The High Court was told that a reporter had misheard Boulaye in an interview, about the singer standing as a candidate in the Greater London Assembly elections, andunderstood her to say “apartheid” when she wasin fact referring to supporting “a party”.

STREET-PORTER BUS-TUP

Five years ago, Janet Street-Porter had succeeded Kim Fletcher as editor of The Independent on Sunday. She hit back at critics who said she had no newspaper experience. Street-Porter told Press Gazette: “I started off on The Mail on Sunday when I was 21 and I have written for a whole lot of Fleet Street papers over the past 30 years, working with features editors and executives.” Kelvin MacKenzie, who worked with StreetPorter at Live TV, gave his own scathing verdict of her editing skills and had some advice for Independent boss Tony O’Reilly. MacKenzie said: “She couldn’t edit a bus ticket. O’Reilly should check himself into the Priory immediately.”

DEATH SPARKS DEBATE

The Northern Echo sparked anationaldebate about the NHS after its deputy chief photo-grapher Ian Weir died of a heart attack. Weir, 38, died while waiting seven months to see a specialist. The Echo carried on its front page a letter Weir had written to Tony Blair, asking: “How much longer will I be alive?” Echo editor Peter Barron said: “Ian was a great photographer and a lovely man. His death highlights a glaring inadequacy in the NHS.”

OK! KEEPS BECKHAMS AWAKE AT NIGHT

OK! magazine had Posh and Becks up until the early hours on their wedding night choosing their best pictures for exclusive coverage in the Richard Desmond-owned title. OK! editor Martin Townsend said: “After the reception at 2.30am they got changed out of their dancing gear into matching white dressing gowns and sat down on a little old church pew with a lightbox balanced on a table. There were hundreds of photographs and they didn’t finish until 5.15am.”OK! tripled its print run to 1.75 million for the wedding exclusive. A delighted Townsend said: “This is the best issue we’ve ever done. It makes the Royal Wedding look like the teddy bear’s picnic.”

YOU HEARD IT ELSEWHERE FIRST

ITV and Sky caused red faces at the BBC by scooping the Corporation’s Six O’Clock News on the announcement that Greg Dyke was to be the new director general. BBC journalists blamed over-zealous  news management for the delay on running the Dyke story, which had been known unofficially throughout the BBC for most of the day.

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