What’s in the box?
Daily Express Foreign Desk 1972
ANOTHER WORLD: Clockwise from the left: Ian Bain, Jim Nichol (deputy foreign editor), Stewart Steven (foreign editor), John Moger (night foreign editor) and Norman Jarvis. The elbow on the bottom right may have belonged to David Ross, David Eliades or Jim Thurman.
Should this story have been spiked?
Another Sussex Sensation from the East Grinstead Courier and Observer, which is carefully monitored for the Drone by Stephen Wood. The same issue of the paper reports on the success of the refurbished Sainsbury's supermarket in the town, where the deputy manager says: "… alongside that is a rotisserie chicken and hot food counter. The chickens have been flying off the shelves.”
Farewell Piranha Teeth
He was famed for once throwing a typewriter out of a window, but now the man they named Piranha Teeth is no more. Former managing director and deputy chairman of Express Newspapers Sir Jocelyn Stevens has died at the age of 82.
Daily Express Features Desk 1984
Pictured at the Fleet Street offices are, from left, Ross Benson, features secretary Tinu, Mike Deane and Alan Frame
Updated 9th November
One in the Eye No 94
Volume 12: 1983
History of the Daily and Sunday Express as told 34 years ago through the columns of Private Eye (Lord Drone does not necessarily agree with the sentiments expressed although, from memory, they seem reasonably accurate.)
New readers: The Eye referred to the Express as the Getsworse, the Getsmuchworse, or the Getsevenworse
2nd December 1983
The Honourable Winkle, aka Lord Matthews’ son and heir Ian, 26, has badly let down Newmarket assistant trainer Bill Mather.
As Grovel revealed, Winkle has evinced an ambition to become a racehorse trainer. To this end Lord Whelks bought the lad a £300,000 stables at Newmarket. As Winkle has little or no experience of the game he cannot get a licence to train from the Jockey Club. So he needed a professional to apply and ostensibly run things.
Father of two Mather, 46, answered an ad in the Sporting Life and says he came to a verbal agreement with Winkle. Certainly he duly resigned from his post as assistant to the great Bruce Hobbs, only to discover that Whelks and Winkle have hired another trainer.
Mather says: “This will certainly be a bleak Christmas.” Not so, however, at Whelks Towers.
16th December 1983
What makes Sir Jonah Junor so benign of late?
How does one explain his new-found air of bonhomie?
Can there be any truth in the rumour at the Lubyanka that Sir Jonah is to be elevated even further and be made LORD Junor in the New Year’s Honours List?
I think we should be told.
30th December 1983
After selling his chunk of Cherkley, the Surrey estate near Leatherhead bought by his grotesque grandfather Lord Beaverbrook, the Hon Maxwell Aitken has moved to Oxfordshire, pocketing his share of the £1 million (plus) sale of the 359-acre spread.
Since Maxwell’s father, the libidinous Sir Max, sold Express Newspapers in 1977 for £14 million, gaining a mere fraction for the family, the going has been hard for all Aitkens, not least for the future Lord Beaverbrook, who has dropped £350,000 on various business ventures, notably a Welsh factory manufacturing bedheads.
Surprisingly the house he has bought was sold by “retired” stockbroker Sandy Gilmour, old Etonian half-brother of ex-Cabinet Minister Ian Gilmour. When Sandy was senior partner of stockbrokers Carr, Sebag he managed to raise £1.2 million of venture capital for Maxwell and “Captain Foulenough” Johnny Elliott, to buy a give-away Beverly Hills freesheet. Needless to say the venture went bust within a year and a half and its demise precipitated that of Carr, Sebag (RIP).
Who is the dark , voluptuous lady who has designs on the legendary but satanic Editor of the Sunday Express? Sir John Junor tells me he has no plans to marry again, that he has turned down the offer of a peerage and, on the eve of his 65th birthday, any talk of retirement has been “put on ice”.
Lord Whelks, the aristocratic proprietor of Sir Jonah’s newspaper, is also approaching 65 – and to forestall any attempts to oust him from the Black Lubyanka, has arbitrarily raised the official retirement age to 70!
Drone note: Junor remained as editor until 1986 when he was succeeded by Robin Esser.
Ye olde Express Christmas
Old flame: Sub-editor Alastair McIntyre celebrates Christmas in traditional style at the Daily Express in the 1980s. Note the lick of flame emerging from the wastepaper bin. If memory serves, McIntyre was invited by Night Editor Craig Orr to come out from beneath the desk ‘just for the first edition’. Needless to say, the picture was taken after the subs’ festive lunch.
McIntyre comments: Elaine Canham has been in touch to say: 'The flaming waste basket reminded me of the night you and I and Jan [Barden] set off fireworks in the subs room; you burned your thumb as I recollect.’
Needless to say I do not recollect this.
Out of scoops: Express star Chapman Pincher dies at 100
Celebrated Daily Express reporter Harry Chapman Pincher has died at the age of 100. The journalist and author, who was the newspaper’s defence and science correspondent until his retirement in 1979, was known as “the great spycatcher of Fleet Street”.
Pincher's son, Michael Chapman Pincher, announced his father's death on his Facebook page. He said: "Our dad, Chapman Pincher (The Lone Wolf of Fleet Street) facing his death with: no regrets, no fear and no expectation, died of old age on 05 August 2014 aged hundred and a quarter.
“Harry, a journalist, author, fisherman, shot and scourge of politicians of all hues leaves Pat and Mick, a raft of grandchildren, his third wife Billiee and her three children. His last joke was 'Tell them I'm out of scoops.’
"For him RIP stands for Recycling-in-Progress."
Oh to be in England now that summer’s here
Picture by STEPHEN WOOD
JON CHURCHMAN reports: This might bring back a few memories from former Expressionadoes who frequented The Olde Bell when it was run by the fearsome duo George and Elvie
Gone but not forgotten: This pic, taken in the Daily Express newsroom some time in the late 1970s or early 1980s shows star columnist Jean Rook discussing matters of moment with copy taster Les Diver. In the background are, from right, back benchers Lloyd Turner, Tony Armstrong, Alan Frame, and art desk operatives John Haxton and Stephen Wood, who supplied this picture. Les, Jean and Lloyd are sadly no longer with us
STILL IN GREAT NICK!
BIG NOISE: The Prince of Darkness Jimmy Nicholson has just celebrated his 87th birthday. Leon Symons and some other old colleagues visited him at his care home
THE WORLD’S GREATEST LUNCH CLUB
Despite the dishevelled look of the table, there was a modicum of food consumed when the Drones met for lunch at Joe Allen on Wednesday 11th December. Pictured are, from left, Alan Frame, Ashley Walton, guest of honour Liz Gill, Terry Manners, Roger Watkins, Pat Pilton, Alastair McIntyre, Terry Evans and Dick Dismore
WHEN JOE HAD A GO AT POLITICS
Former Daily Express sub-editor Joe Neal has resurfaced as an actor in Ireland. And, as this picture proves, he stood unsuccessfully as an independent in the 2004 European elections. Joe has also written a book of poetry, Telling It At A Slant, which is available as a paperback from all good booksellers. If you want to see if he can act, (he can in the Drone’s opinion) CLICK HERE
____________________________Spaghetti House Siege (Part 2)
Laddies who lunch: The Daily Express Drones got together at the Spaghetti House in Holborn to drink to the memory of former Daily Express sub-editor and radio DJ Bob Kilbey who died in July. Bob used to organise an annual Christmas lunch at the restaurant. Pictured from left are Ashley Walton, Alastair McIntyre, Bill Reynolds, Ray King, Ross Tayne and Tony Boullemier
ER … COME AGAIN?
IT'S ALL IN THE TIMING...
STEEMERS STEAMS IN
Mike Steemson, erstwhile lynchpin of the DX newsdesk, is visiting the UK from his home in New Zealand and found time to drop in on former managing editor Mike Deane at his home in County Down. Mike Deane, pictured left, said: 'We chewed the fat and Mike drank all my whiskey.' Some things never change...
IS THERE A SUB-EDITOR IN
THE (PUBLIC) HOUSE?
(Er, yes as a rule – Ed)
Spotted on Holy Island by Johnny Maskey
AND SO TO BEDS
This charming snap was taken from an aeroplane by Joy Desmond as she was wafted into Luton Airport. But what does it show? Find out here
LOOKALIKE (UKIP EDITION)
Meerkat Nigel Farage
MAROONED IN THE PUB
Oh dear, tell that to the wife:
What on earth is going on here?
A memorial service? Surely some mistake
Learn the ghastly truth here
If the cap doesn't fit...
Sometimes editors have to do the most undignified things, as Sir Nicholas Lloyd found in 1995 when Sky TV invaded the Express offices in Blackfriars for a charity Telethon which was broadcast live to the masses. The picture came to light during a gathering of the World's Greatest Lunch Club at which the guest was the man with the longest career in Fleet Street – 57 years and still counting. Read about it here.
Funny old whirled
Goodbye Vienna: Spotted in Hunstanton by Stephen Wood
How an Express reporter left Britain's Cold
War secret on the floor of the Old Bell
Who Was Who on the Express in 1969
Buccaneering spirit that made the Daily Express great
NEW SHOCK: Up the wooden Hill
There are some things that you just can't make up. Former Daily Express editor Peter Hill has designed some nightshirts which he is now selling on the internet. Don't have nightie-mares!
HISTORY OF THE DAILY
EXPRESS DRONES CLUB