When The Sun succeeded in bringing back to the UK great train robber Ronnie Biggs in 2001 it was hailed by some as one of the greatest scoops in recent times.
Not so, according to Anthony Delano, the journalist who wrote classic book Slip-Up, about how 27 years earlier Daily Express hacks tracked down Biggs in Rio de Janeiro, but lost their exclusive when Scotland Yard got involved.
In the new updated version of the book, published this month, Delano writes that this too was ‘a Fleet Street escapade, although hardly a great achievement, despite the days of headlines it generated in The Sun”.
He adds: ‘The paper merely did what Biggs had been asking for ever since the Slip-Up era: Take him home. The most remarkable aspect of that episode was the alacrity with which the Home Office, after assiduously ignoring Biggs’ existence for years, issued a passport for him at the request of a Murdoch newspaper.”