Biographer Graham Lord’s excellent new book Lord’s Ladies and Gentleman chronicles his encounters with 100 legends of the 20th century.
There is also an entertaining recollection of his former editor at the Sunday Express, John Junor (pictured above).
“I think JJ propositioned the wives of almost every member of his staff.
“During one Sunday Express cricket match against his Surrey village, Charlwood, on a blazing summer day, the very good-looking wife of one of our sports writers was foolish enough to remark how hot it was. Junor pounced.
“He kept insisting that she should go with him to Wellpools for a cold shower, and he was so persistent that eventually she agreed.
“As she stepped out of the shower she saw him standing in the doorway wearing nothing but underpants and a leer.
“‘Oh, John!’ she said. ‘We’ve been such good friends for so long, let’s not spoil it.’ He crept red-faced out of the room and she escaped unsullied.
“Even though JJ looked like a seedy gargoyle as he grew older he leered at almost every woman he met, propositioned many, and instructed his showbiz correspondent, Roderick Mann, to play the pimp by regularly persuading pretty young actresses to meet him for cosy dinners.”
Dale celebrates justified victory at crime Christmas do
News of this year’s somewhat muted crime reporters’ association Christmas do (just three cops turned up) sent John Dale on a trip down memory lane.
Harking back to press Christmas parties at the Old Bailey in the 1970s, he explains how he once shocked everyone.
He says: “There was great competition between reporters to see who could bring the most eminent, and surprising, guest.
“I won one year when I walked in with Mr Justice Melford Stevenson, the judge who’d sentenced the Krays to life a few years before.
“His presence trumped that of the various coppers from the Flying Squad and several QCs.”