Walker quitting Mail to take over Mandrake

Walker: " I want to put my own imprint on Mandrake"


For the second time Tim Walker is to step into Adam Helliker’s shoes, taking over as editor of The Sunday Telegraph’s Mandrake diary.

Helliker leaves this summer for The Mail on Sunday. It is the second time, too, that Sunday Telegraph editor Dominic Lawson has found his diarist at the number two position on Dempster’s Diary at the Daily Mail. It was only four years ago that he poached Helliker and Walker took his place.

Walker, 39, who has been at the Daily Mail for 10 years, said: "I think every lieutenant wants a captaincy at some point. Nigel has behaved very graciously about it. It will be a huge wrench to leave the Daily Mail. I don’t think anyone who has been on the paper that long leaves without soul searching.

"But I want to put my own imprint on Mandrake – give him a more pronounced sense of humour, a more distinctive voice, perhaps make him a little bit more irreverent. But all that really matters is that he still has great stories to tell."

Of Walker, Lawson said: "He is a fine writer and a good story-getter. I think Adam gained enormously from his experience with Mandrake and I think the same will happen with Tim. It makes a big difference when you’ve got your own name on the column. It is a huge motivator when your name is up there in lights."

Walker, a former British Press Awards young journalist of the year wrote the Pendennis diary for The Observer. He joined the Daily Mail as a commissioning editor, worked in features and was briefly acting editor of Femail.

Tipped to take his post at the Mail is Helen Minsky, a Dempster, regular while, Helliker’s deputy, Jane Slade, will follow him to the MoS on a freelance basis.

"He’s a brilliant diary editor and I think we work well together as a team," said Slade, who has also just taken over the editorship of the quarterly magazine for the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts.

She began her career on the Daily Express’s William Hickey column.

By Jean Morgan

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