Back Issues 23.09.05

SEPTEMBER 1980

BY JON SLATTERY

Another record for Chataway

ITN’s first newscaster, Christopher Chataway, returned to the News
at One studio to help celebrate the news broadcaster’s 25th
anniversary. He read the closing headlines before toasting ITN with
Trevor McDonald. ITN’s first broadcast was on 22 September 1955.

To catch a mole

The identity of a molecatcher given the task of stopping leaks to
the press from Whitehall was revealed by The Guardian – which itself
was under investigation. The molecatcher was appointed after growing
anger from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Government ministers
over leaks – including confidential Cabinet minutes – to the press. The
Guardian reported: “The man they have set to trap the culprits is known
as ‘Mr Bingham’. It is understood he takes his orders direct from No.
10 Downing Street.”

Tom Bingham’s inquiry into a leak to The Guardian’s Richard Norton- Taylor was “inconclusive”. 

Back to work at The Times with big salaries boost

Journalists at The Times had returned to work after a week-long
strike when management agreed to offer NUJ members a 27 per cent pay
rise over 18 months. Average salaries were to rise from £11,500 to
£14,000. Times NUJ FoC Jake Ecclestone said: “An honourable settlement
has been achieved.”

Thames TV loses court fight

A High Court judge had ordered Thames TV not to screen an investigative programme into the pregnancy-testing drug Primodos.

Schering Chemicals were claiming damages against Thames, the
programme’s producer David Elstein and Falkman Ltd, a TV training firm,
for breach of confidence.

Britain’s first six-bob paper

This is how Press Gazette headlined its story on The Sunday Times
increasing its cover price from 25p to 30p. The Sunday Times now sells
for £1.60.

Reporter refuses to leave council meeting

Four police officers were called to a parish council meeting after a
village correspondent and members of the public refused to leave when
the council declared it was going into private session to discuss
controversial plans for a new car park. Pam Stevens, correspondent for
the Folkestone, Hythe and District Herald and the South Kent Gazette,
was covering a meeting of the Swingfield parish council. The council
finally relented and let Stevens stay.

Herald and Gazette editor David Wynn-Jones told Press Gazette: “To
call in the police was a great over-reaction on the council’s behalf.
My correspondent and other members of the public behaved perfectly
properly throughout.”

Starmen hit Sunday Times

A football team from The Star, Sheffield, humbled a Sunday Times X1
by 10 goals to one. The star man for the Sheffield paper was Nigel
Pickover, who scored a hat-trick. Pickover is still a Star man, as
editor of The Star, Ipswich.

David Icke joins the BBC

Former Hereford footballer David Icke joined the BBC’s Newsnight as
sports correspondent. Icke had worked for the Leicester Mercury and BBC
Local Radio.

His journalistic career went somewhat downhill after he dressed in
turquoise and claimed to be “a son of the godhead”. He also professed
conspiracy theories such as the claim that there was a secret world
government.

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