THE WORLD’S GREATEST WEBSITE 

LONDON
FRIDAY 25 MAY 2018

QUOTE OF THE DAY

I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I’m saying — Oscar Wilde

___________________________________

NEW TODAY: DRONE EXCLUSIVE
How I bluffed my way into
fixing a gym for Rod’s bride

tavener

In episode 16 of his popular Tavener’s Tales memoir, ROGER TAVENER has fun and games with Rod Stewart in LA

Read it here

*****
Psst! Do you still want to get emails from me after GDPR?

*****
ROYAL WEDDING SPECIAL
Daily Mail leaves no royal cliché unturned

A piece in yesterday’s Daily Mail by Sarah Rainey and Rebecca English on Harry and Meghan’s evening reception was a triumph for lovers of the cliché.

The following shortish page lead contained the following tired expressions:

Star-studded

Champagne-fuelled

Late night revelry

Bespoke cocktails (twice)

Trendy DJ

Dancing the night away

Party to end all parties

Carnival atmosphere

Extravagant fireworks display

Night to remember

Prince’s playboy past

Festivities kicked off

Security extremely tight

Strictly-vetted

Sneak pictures

Flamboyant

Giddy videos

Bespoke bracelets

Giant marquee

Stunning floral displays 

Liveried waiters circulated

Poignant reminder

Under strict instructions (twice)

Keeping guests in stitches

Late night snacks

Went on into the early hours

Stagger off the dance floor

Bleary-eyed revellers

Late-night party

Celebrity haunt

Rather the worse for wear

Weary looking

Fresh-faced

One of the few to make it down to breakfast

Biggest cliche: believed to have etc

A DRONE CORRESPONDENT, always up for a challenge, writes: Most impressed by your wonderful list of clichés from the Mail piece on The Reception. I didn't see the story, but I thought it  might be possible to reconstruct it using all the cliches in the order given and linking them with the fewest possible words. Come to think of it, this could be the basis of a template for future tales of a similar nature, thus saving time and effort for all concerned.

It was a star-studded, champagne-fuelled bonanza, with late-night revelry enhanced by bespoke cocktails (and, man,  do I mean bespoke cocktails!). Trendy DJs had the glitterati dancing the night away at this, the party to end all parties. 

The carnival atmosphere and an extravagant fireworks display made it a night to remember  – and perhaps to muse with a smile on the Prince's playboy past.

The festivities kicked off without a hitch, with security extremely tight and guests strictly vetted.  But needless to say there were sneak pictures of the flamboyant knees-up.  Giddy videos of one and all. Oh, those fab frocks… Oh, those bespoke bracelets ...  The giant marquee, with stunning floral displays, was just right for the night as liveried waiters circulated.

To some the occasion had to be a poignant reminder of the past. But that aside, what could mar the magic of it all?   Discreet security guards were under strict instructions to see that things didn't get out of hand. Even so, the antics of Top People were keeping guests in stitches.

There were late-night snacks as the party went on into the early hours, with some guests seen to stagger off the dance floor.

And then – time to go home for bleary-eyed revellers as the late-night party finally drew to a close. Even so, some chose to take in a celebrity haunt or two, although rather the worse for wear. But after all that, who wouldn't be weary looking?

Come the morn ...  Fresh-facedone of the few to make it down to breakfast was believed to have been ...  But that's another story, for another day.

Here’s another headline to which the answer is No

(and the Daily Mail admitted as much later in the story)

dianaseat1.png

Regular readers will recall that the Drone considers that whenever a newspaper asks a question in a story the question is normally No. Above is a classic of the genre from the Daily Mail’s wedding coverage yesterday, which went as far as proving the point in the last few pars — as revealed below

diana seat2.png

.

*****

Jonathan Pie’s view

*****
Is this the moment that the Press Pack spotted
Lord Drone at Cannes?

StarWars SW11.JPG

Er … up to a point. It is a little known fact that whenever a newspaper asks a question in a headline the answer is invariably No. Our headline today is no exception. This pic was taken by celebrity snapper STEVE WOOD at the screening of Solo: A Star Wars Story at the Cannes Film Festival. His Lordship was in the pub at the time.

Reader Peter Michel reports: "And not a lot of people know that the answer to the questions in the first four lines of Blake's Jerusalem is also No.

And did those feet in ancient time

Walk upon England's mountains green:

And was the holy Lamb of God,

On England's pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,

Shine forth upon our clouded hills?

And was Jerusalem builded here,

Among these dark Satanic Mills?

*****
Giles scene in real life

marc riboud 1954 giles.jpg

Picture by Marc Riboud, Greenwich 1954

*****

DRONE EXCLUSIVE

Phone hacking is nothing new,

State spooks did it in 1963

Keeler on left and Freddie Baldwin on far right..jpg

When solicitor Freddie Baldwin, pictured right, defended Christine Keeler, left, during the notorious Profumo sex scandal in 1963 he found that his phone was making strange noises whenever he picked it up.

The truth was that he was being hacked by government spooks. In the light of Leveson, was this a case of pot calling the kettle black? 

Freddie’s son FRANK BALDWIN thinks so. Read his fascinating piece here.

*****

Johnners calls it a day 

1johnners13.png

Expressman, Mirrorman, Indyman and Everywhere-else man John Clarke has retired at the age of 68. His colleagues at the i produced this front page in his honour. Below is John’s Facebook post announcing his retirement 

johnners fb.png

*****
April circulations

circulations.jpg

*****
What genius wrote this?*

what genius stairs .jpg

*With apologies to Rick McNeill who has written a book of the same name which is available at all good bookshops (and a few bad ones)
*****

TRINITY’S NEW MISSION STATEMENT

It’s enough to make you retch

WRETCHED: More bilge from the new owners of Express Newspapers. For reasons known only to themselves, Trinity Mirror has decided to rename the company Reach, or Retch as its beleagured journalists prefer to call it.

More about this nonsense — if you can bear to read it

The handbook appears to be empty
*****

bennett2.jpg

From the Alan Bennett Diaries

*****
Express & Star digital revenue up 8 per cent but print income falls

expstardm.jpg

Digital revenue for the Express and Star newspapers has grown 40 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, while overall revenue for to two daily titles has fallen by 5 per cent, reports Press Gazette.

Details

*****

Ministry of Silly Walks

minofsillybrexit.jpg

*****
EDITOR SIGNALS A NEW DIRECTION

The Express must not be offensive to anyone, and that includes immigrants

Gary-Jones-e1525270102193.png

NEW DAILY EXPRESS EDITOR GARY JONES TELLS PRESS GAZETTE OF THE CHANGES HE IS MAKING AND HOW HE IS IMPROVING THOSE FRONT PAGES
READ THE INTERVIEW HERE
*****

Culture Secretary orders probe into Mirror takeover

hancock.jpg

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has intervened in Trinity Mirror’s takeover of Express Newspapers, instructing Ofcom to investigate whether the deal will give sufficient media plurality and free expression of opinion.

Press Gazette story

 This one will run and run 

sillywalks

Old journalists never die, they merely run the marathon. But who’s this action man?
 All is revealed here

*****

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

*****

BORING TWEET OF THE WEEK 

*****
At last! Sanity returns to the Daily Express

1garyjones25.jpg

New Daily Express editor Gary Jones, pictured, has told MPs that some of the paper’s front pages were ‘downright offensive’ before he took over — and some stories helped stir Islamophobia.

His comments restore a touch of sanity and decency to the Express which lost its influence and became a laughing stock under the ownership of Richard Desmond. Let us hope that this new and welcome attitude is not too late to restore this once-great paper’s fortunes.

FULL STORY

*****

The importance of using commas

commas.jpg

.

*****
OOPS!

anal.jpg

*****
DRONETUBE
Nick Lloyd’s tribute to Jean Rook in 1991

*****
ON THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH

Spike Milligan at his funniest

*****
A milk bar in Fleet Street? No wonder it didn’t last 

1milkbar.jpg

There wasn’t much milk drunk in my day — Ed. Milk bars were popular after the war, we think this one disappeared  in the 1960s

*****

The moment Peter Hitchens learned he had lost an award to columnist Matthew Parris

*****
DRONETUBE

Our man Ashley on ITV news

Ashley Walton out on the Fergie story, early 1990s 

*****
Useless at hill starts?

hill starts.jpg

*****

Strolling down a Suffolk street, Nick’s encounter with the Easter Bunny

By NICK INGRAM

The plan for Easter Saturday had been to visit a stately home in Suffolk with my wife, parents and aunt. The vile weather meant we opted for a long lunch in Bury St Edmunds instead. 

It was my first visit, and wandering the quaint streets about 3.30pm I stumbled across an intriguing sign outside Waterstones. My old colleague David ‘Bunny’ Laws was signing copies of his book.

It seemed I had missed the event but decided to look inside and, as luck would have it, the great man was still lingering.

He was on fine form, giving a mini-lecture on Munich, the background to his book etc. He still does the odd Sunday Express shift.

Of course, it meant I had to put my hand in my pocket to buy a copy (paperback edition), which David cheerfully signed. 

Troubador magazine interview with David

Buy the ebook here

Buy the paperback here

Promotional video

         BUNNY LINGERS: David Laws, left, and Nick Ingram

*****
Daily Star Sports Desk 1980

1star mcr08.jpg

Former Daily Star sub Jeff Connor, pictured front right, sent this snap of the paper’s Sports Desk in Manchester circa 1980 before they moved to new offices. 

Pictured, second left, is sports editor Arthur Lamb, to his left is deputy sports editor Gordon ‘Geordie’ Burnett (long departed), the secretary was named Sue. In the background between Gordon and Jeff is the backbench with deputy night editor Chris Davis, later Royston Davis, who went to The Sun, and leaning over him is copy editor Mike Hughes. 

Next to Chris is night editor Andy (mine’s a Bell’s and a light ale) Carson, then Ian Pollock. On the extreme left is Jack Ronnie (probably). Also on the backbench is Robbie Addison.

To the left of Chris Davis is Ian Pollack and standing is a guy called Robbie who we think was deputy to editor Peter Grimsditch. Behind secretary Sue is the DS newsdesk. Thanks to Mike Hughes and John Edgley for help in identifications. 

Jeff Connor is working on a potted history of Ancoats from 1976 to 1988. Read it here soon ONLY ON THE DRONE!

*****

Express sub-editors, Fleet Street 1970s

Daily Express sub-editors hard at work in the Fleet Street newsroom in the 1970s. From left, Doug Mann, Jack Atkinson, Dan McDonald, Terry Manners and Chris Williams. Lurking in the background could be Alastair McIntyre

*****

Who’s this having a fling?

IMG 1428

Can you Tel who it is? Find out here

*****
Whittow says farewell

1whittowbye.jpg

There were tears in the Daily Express newsroom when popular editor Hugh Whittow said goodbye to staff following the Trinity Mirror takeover in March

*****

World of the halfwit No9

idiot padlock.jpg

.

*****

thegaps.jpg

*****

DRONE PHOTONEWS
Fleet Street’s great and good pay warm tribute to Robin Esser at memorial

1essermemorial

STAR LINE-UP: A huge congregation including Fleet Street’s top names attended the memorial service for Robin Esser on Wednesday 21st March. Pictured, from left, are Paul Dacre, Sir Michael Parkinson, Philippa Kennedy, Donald Trelford and Christopher Ward 
ASHLEY WALTON’S report
DRONE PHOTONEWS SPECIAL

Photo: Alan Davidson/AJDImages Ltd
+44 2080 045359 sales@silverhubmedia.com

.

*****
ONLY IN YOUR SUPER SOARWAY DRONE

How Inspector Watts found himself en route to Fleet St

insp watts

PETER SMITH relates how his old friend and colleague, Sunday Express columnist Michael ‘Inspector’ Watts,  got his job on the Sunday Express by talking rather loudly on the top of a No11 bus. Read it here

*****

leninlastphotogorki1923.jpg

1923: Last picture of Vladimir Lenin
*****

Newspaper production when men were men … and the women didn’t get a look in

eadt

Expressman STEPHEN WOOD has unearthed some fascinating footage of staff at work on the East Anglian Daily Times/Evening Star/Suffolk Mercury series in 1959.

Wood told the Drone: "The film was shot six years before I started there but it’s full of old coves I remember, especially the news editor Frank Tonkinson (who had reported from the Nuremberg Trials), Chief Sub Alf Boden and the grumpiest bastard of a stone hand called Ken.

"Thing is, the subs get a really good shout in this ... proper blokes (all blokes) all doing a proper job. Good stuff on Linos, foundry and press room too.

"It was all done in a wonderful Victorian red-brick building subsequently demolished to make way for Sainsbury’s in 1967.

The film runs for 16 minutes. Watch it HERE

.

*****

History in moments No31

prohibition end 1933.jpg

1931: The end of prohibition in America
*****

Maidens in waiting, Blackpool, 1951
by Bert Hardy

hardy Maidens in Waiting, Blackpool 1951.jpg

*****

Friday's papers

25express.JPG


25mail.jpg


25metro.jpg
25tele.jpg
25star.JPG
25sun.JPG
25i.jpg


25york.jpg
25ft.jpg
25mornstar.jpg

*****

Cartoons of the day

1adams26.jpg

Christian Adams

1bell if 22.jpg

Steve Bell

1bellif 23.jpg

Steve Bell

1brookes25.jpg

Peter Brookes

1davebrown24x.jpg

Dave Brown

1bell25.jpg

Steve Bell

1moran25.jpg

Bob Moran

1 davebrown25.jpg

Dave Brown

1brookes2 25.jpg

Peter Brookes

1mac25.jpg

Stan McMurtry

1morland23.jpg

Morten Morland

Rod Emmerson

1bell23.jpg

Steve Bell

1brookes23.jpg

Peter Brookes

Punch Classic (1988) 

1classic1988.jpg

*****

Hold Page 96! 

News you may have missed

crap tantrum.jpg

*****
Latest Eye

1latesteye.jpg

Classic Eye (1978)

eye78.jpg

______________

One in the Eye

eye title

No 103

Volume 15: 1986

THE history of the Daily and Sunday Express as told 30 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 or sometimes even worse than that.

UPDATED 27 JANUARY

25 July 1986

Street of Shame

When an Englishman was sentenced to hang in Malaysia for drug-running, the Getsmuchworse swiftly dispatched ace newshound Norman Luck to cover the pleas for clemency, death-cell agony and grisly end. Unfortunately the grisly end took rather a long time coming.

Worried about the cost of this jaunt, the Getsmuchstingier’s news desk ordered the luckless Luck to return home. While he was in midair, though, it became clear that the editor, “Nick” Lloyd — who had not been told of Luck’s imminent return — wanted him to remain in Kuala Lumpur.

In panic, the news desk decided to keep the return of the prodigal wordsmith secret. As soon as he touched down on home soil he was whisked off to a hideaway and continued filing stories as if he was still in Malaysia.

Thus it was that a series of graphic eyewitness accounts of the days leading up to the hanging which appeared in the Express under the byline “from Norman Luck in Kuala Lumpur” actually came from no further afield than Tunbridge Wells where Luck was holed up in a luxurious flat while involved in discussions of a Malaysian nature.

19 September 1986

Street of Shame

Just as United boss David Stevens removes one source of sleaziness, Roger Boyes, so another pops up. Fleet Street's most repulsive yob Ray Mills, now has a column in the Star. 

Eye readers will remember Mills from issue 635, in which his habit of peeing in office wastepaper baskets, to the distress of cleaners, was disclosed. Mills’s new column is the journalistic equivalent of peeing in public.

At the Star he is known to one and all as BIFFO — Big Ignorant Fucker From Oldham.

The most recent Mills story involves his teenage son who, trying to please the elderly delinquent, baked him a birthday cake. Mills threw the cake at the lad’s head, shouting: “Are you a queer or something?”

3 October 1986

Street of Shame

When word was brought to dynamic Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie that Pat Phoenix was dead, his reaction was swift. “Get Doris Stokes [a clairvoyant] on the phone,” he screamed at a subordinate. “I want the first interview from the other side.”

A few minutes later the trembling subordinate reported back. La Stokes said that it took some time for for the spirit to move from earthly form. Even with her talents she could not yet make contact with the departed star.

“Well tell her to make it up,” shrieked MacFrenzie.

14 November 1986

“Hindley Freedom Move” screamed the Daily Getsmuchworse on Monday, labelling the story as “exclusive”. Its gullible readers were informed that Myra Hindley was to be sent to an open prison, and there were assorted quotes expressing the appropriate shock horror.

The Home Office denied the story as being untrue, for a very good reason — it was.

Step forward yet again Mr Michael Rocco Ryan who, posing as a prison nurse on escort duty, conned the gullible hacks. They can, however, almost be forgiven — for Rocky has become more sophisticated in the last twelve months. He has a fun-loving female accomplice who leads the hacks into his traps.

28 November 1986

Blood is running in the gutters at the Sunday Express, following the takeover by new Editor Robin Esser and his personally-appointed deputy Brian Hitchen.

Assistant Editor James Kinlay, once touted as the next editor, finishes at the end of the month. Photo editor John Dove has been given his cards and finishes up at the same time. Foreign editor Terry Foley returned from sick leave to be told he was no longer needed and has moved out of his office.

The latest office notice board announcement is the demotion of News Editor Michael Dove to reporter, apparently for his remark in the Poppinjay pub: “Brian Hitchen wouldn’t know a news story if it was shoved up his nose. He’s a beer-bellied idiot.”

“Inspector” Michael Watts has been axed after 27 years on the paper after telling Esser: “You can’t change the character of my column, old boy. I won’t stand for it.”

Travel editor Lewis de Fries has been chopped and now the Esser/Hitchen Punch and Judy act have turned their sights on Features Editor Max “Fuhrer” Davidson because of his continual complaining within the office: “All I get are inane features from Esser’s talentless Yuppie friends and Hitchen’s old drunken American-based cohorts.”

Assistant editor Ted Dickinson has been told to leave because when Esser tried to get back on the Daily Express after the closure of the Evening News he wrote a memo, still on file, reading: “On no account should Esser be given a job. He’s a total incompetent.”

Assistant editor Henry Macrory has been demoted to News Editor and one of his deputies, Ted Gartell, leaves at the end of November after being axed. Political editor Keith Renshaw has volunteered for early retirement at Christmas.

So of all departmental heads, that leaves just Diary Editor Lady Olga Maitland. The terrible duo backed off at the last minute when she befriended and started lunching with Lady Stevens, wife of Express supremo Sir David Stevens. Now she’s organising a counter-plot, jabbing her poison pen into the backs of her would-be executioners.

But that has not stopped Punch and Judy from targeting their next victim: the great Sir John Junor himself, who keeps bad-mouthing Esser and Hitchen to his spies still on the Sunday Express.

*****

The Daily Express, it seems, is still under the impression that its rightful owners are the Beaverbrooks. Lady Beaver has recently taken to ringing the paper’s executives to complain of items she finds “offensive” or “anti-Tory”, to wit one poor hack’s reference to “booze and fags”.

The hack was summoned to Deputy Editor Leith McGrumble’s office and told to empty his desk and collect his cards. As stunned as were his building society and family, the minion duly complied, but first informed the Father of the Chapel. A ruckus ensued between various heads of department and, 24 hours later, the hack was reinstated. Later he was told that he had also been guilty of anti-Tory sentiments and had better keep his nose clean (ie brown) in the future.

Lady Beaverbrook is 94.

Christmas issue

Letters to the Editor

Bloodless…

Sir,

Less blood has flowed on the Sunday Express than you claim. Only one member of the News Desk is leaving the paper, entirely of his own volition. The only change in my own position is that my duties have been expanded.

Yours unanaemically, 
HENRY MACRORY

Assistant Editor,
Sunday Express 

121 Fleet Street, London


Coo

Sir,

Your piece about me (Eye 651) is wrong in every detail.

I was not demoted from News Editor. I came off the desk in order to write for the new lively Sunday Express. It was entirely my idea and the move was approved by the editor.

Neither have I ever criticised Brian Hitchen in the Poppinjay or anywhere else. The remarks you attributed to me are a complete fabrication.

Your article was untrue and highly defamatory. I thought you had learned your lesson about checking facts after your recent High Court experience. 

Kindly publish this letter. I know better than to expect an apology from you.

MICHAEL DOVE

Senior Reporter

Sunday Express

121 Fleet Street, London

THAT’S IT FOR 1986

MORE FROM 1986

ONE IN THE EYE 1985

ONE IN THE EYE 1984

ONE IN THE EYE 1983

ONE IN THE EYE 1982

ONE IN THE EYE 1981

ONE IN THE EYE 1980

ONE IN THE EYE 1979

ONE IN THE EYE 1978

ONE IN THE EYE 1977

ONE IN THE EYE 1976

ONE IN THE EYE 1975

ONE IN THE EYE 1974

ONE IN THE EYE 1973

ONE IN THE EYE 1972

ONE IN THE EYE 1966-1971

SPOOF FRONT PAGE FROM 1965

*****

Who put the lights out?

Dxblackout

NOTHING stopped the Daily Express in 1972, not even the miners’ strike. It was the year of constant power cuts instigated by Prime Minister Edward Heath to cope with the lack of coal to fuel the power stations. And as the clock hit 4.14 on a winter's afternoon the Express news sub-editors slaved away by gaslight. Lord Drone recalls that the gas lamps on the ceiling were still there when the Fleet Street office was vacated in 1989. 
Who’s in the picture? We put a few names to faces HERE

_______

DroneTube
Farewell to Fleet Street

Fleet Street was full of journalists for the first time in many years when the London Press Club held a long lunch to mark the departure of the last newspaper from the Street of Broken Dreams. Watch the YouTube video of the event above and read the Guardian report

__________

DroneTube Exclusive

Life After The Front Page

This rare and previously largely unseen film, unearthed in the annals of Lord Drone, recalls the grand old days of Fleet Street. It includes interviews with Ann Buchanan, of The Sun and Daily Mirror; Clem Jones, from the Wolverhampton Express; Eric Todd of the Manchester Evening Chronicle and The Guardian; and George Bell and Ted Townshend of the Daily Telegraph. 

The film, which was made by students of Goldsmiths College, University of London, in 1999, also includes someone called Alastair McIntyre (who he – Ed?) who addresses the public from the Daily Express offices in Blackfriars. 

Runtime is 16 minutes.
*****

DroneTube Exclusive

The Crusader Years 1900-1990

Only in the Drone: This video was supplied to Express staff in 1990 and is now published on the web for the first time. 

________

© 2005-2018 Alastair McIntyre