Camelot chief calls for local Lottery reporters


Camelot chief Dianne Thompson has suggested that regional papers should appoint their own specialist reporters to cover the National Lottery.

Speaking at the Newspaper Society’s annual lunch, Thompson touched only briefly on the controversy about whether Camelot should pay out on the lost £3m Lottery ticket.

She said: "It makes a change for me to have the editors on the receiving end. I speak as someone who went, in the space of a few days, from being named Businesswoman of the Year to Miss Scrooge."

Thompson revealed that Camelot planned to take the Lottery "on tour" across the UK with a series of roadshows to explain to the public how the cash raised had been spent locally.

"We will be calling on some of you here to help us debate some of the issues, what your readers actually think about the Lottery and where the money should go," she said.

"Your readers are interested in winners, in where the money goes and their chances of winning. We want to help you entertain and inform them.

"So why not ask one of your staff to take a specialist interest in the Lottery? Get to know some of the Lottery projects in your areas and the issues surrounding some of them."

She denied that Camelot focused on the national media rather than the regional press.

Thompson claimed: "We have been involved in more promotions regionally in the past year than ever before. Camelot and the National Lottery know that the regional press is one of the best ways to truly communicate with our players, to reach them on their own territory."

lFred Johnston, chief executive of Johnston Press, was presented with the Newspaper Society’s President’s Prize at the Society’s AGM.

By Jon Slattery

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