World’s Greatest Lunch Club’s Christmas Thrash at Joe's
Ho-ho-Joe: Daily Express alumni gathered at Joe Allen’s in Covent Garden, London on 17th December for a glass or five of lunch. Pictured from left to right are: Ashley Walton, Dick Dismore, Wendy Payne, Pat Pilton, Helene Costas, Roger Watkins, Alan Frame and the back of David Eliades’ head
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.
What’s in the box?
Updated 8th December
One in the Eye No 95
Volume 13: 1984
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
13th January 1984
Although he has twice been divorced the Evening Standard’s lousy editor Lou Kirby somehow managed to marry Mrs Kirby III (formerly Heather McGlone) with the full blessing of the church.
The nuptials, complete with choir and harpist, took place in the chapel of Mill Hill School.
Rumour has it that it was arranged by the Rev Dewi Morgan, vicar of St Brides.
24th February 1984
The day after the Sunday Express carried a fulsome apology for a Lady Olga Maitland article on Gambia’s unimpeachable President Jawara, editor Sir John Junor was en route for his annual freebie to the West African paradise where local lovelies gambol topless.
Expect a fulsome puff in Sir Jonah’s column not only for the Gambia but also for Sir Adam Thompson, chief of British Caledonian, whose tartan-clad air hostesses waited on him hand and foot on the flight there and back.
23rd March 1984
The Honourable Winkle has at last found a bride! Now planning to launch himself as a racehorse trainer, Lord Matthews’ only son and heir, Ian, 25, has become engaged to comely divorcee Mrs Helen Cooke who hails from Frimley, Surrey.
The betrothal will come as a relief to women employed at Express Newspapers whom Winkle has been pursuing, without success, while occupying the sinecure of managing director of the Sunday Express Magazine. Complaints by them of sexual harassment were hushed up by the union.
Should Winkle’s ambitions on the Turf fail, it is unlikely that he will be able to take over the Express empire from Whelks. Robert Holmes a’Court, who has built up a 10 per cent stake in the business, has no plans to keep Whelks on, even as honorary President, a post formerly held by Sir Max Aitken.
NEXT: Sid Yobbo launches an appeal after losing his disastrous libel action against the BBC, sacked Express theatre critic David Roper is the victim of a cruel joke and former editor Christopher Ward is reunited with his wife Fanny
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
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