Back Issues 08.05.03

Out for the count

These two knackered looking boxers are Peter Oborne, left, and Stephen Hargrave, then City hacks on the Evening Standard, who went three rounds for charity at The Ring in Southwark. The winner was Oborne, now political editor of The Spectator. And the man in the “No Mercy” hat? Jeff Randall, then on The Sunday Telegraph and now BBC News business editor. He was “doing the business” in Oborne’s corner as his trainer.

Hislop’s crocodile tears

The Digger, a would-be rival to Private Eye which was launched a year earlier by Irish publisher John Mulachy, closed. Eye editor Ian Hislop said: “It failed because it was a Private Eye lookalike. Its humour pages were dreadful. although it was getting some good news articles. But to be honest, I am crying enormous crocodile tears.”

Big time Charlie

Charles Moore was named the PPA’s editor of the year for his stewardship of The Spectator. He was in the US, so deputy editor Dominic Lawson picked up the award at the Grosvenor House. Other winners included David Hepworth, editorial director of Q, then edited by Mark Ellen. Moore and Lawson have gone on to edit The Daily and Sunday Telegraph, while Hepworth and Ellen have just set up their own company and launched Word magazine.

No regrets for MacKenzie

Publication by The Sun of a picture of a two-headed baby was within the editor’s discretion, the Press Council decided. Complainants said the photograph was in poor taste, an affront to human dignity, pandered to morbid curiosity and was likely to cause stress to expectant mothers. Editor Kelvin MacKenzie said the story was one of intense medical and human interest and he did not regret publishing the picture.

Eau savage causes outrage

Daily Express diary editor Ross Benson had written to Dog correcting details about his nightwear. “I am outraged,” he penned, “by your reference to me in your issue of April 18 in which you allege I retire to bed of a night wearing just a hairnet and Eau Savage. I never wear Eau Savage.”

Thomson expands

Thomson Regional Newspapers had begun a huge expansion programme. It revealed that following plans for a Sunday paper in Scotland, Scotland on Sunday, it was also planning Sundays for Northern Ireland and Wales. The company had also got Department of Trade approval to buy Keith Barwell’s 26 free Herald titles.

Post brings bad news

Mirror Group Newspapers was the latest national newspaper company to announce it was to leave Manchester, with the axeing of 136 journalists. The sackings at the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People were announced in letters to staff sent to their homes. The decision was called “senseless by FoC Keith Meadows. “There is no logic to it. The circulation in the North has been increasing, unlike the circulation in the south,” he said.

Correspondent’s short life

Plans for a new quality Sunday newspaper were beginning to leak out. The team behind the launch included Douglas Long, formerly with Mirror Group, David Lipsey, former economics editor of The Sunday Times, and David Blake, formerly of The Times. The paper was The Sunday Correspondent which launched as a broadsheet in September 1989, switched to a tabloid the following August and, sadly, folded in November 1990.

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