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 22nd October
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
7th October 1983
It is no concern of mine that at 2am a couple of weekends ago Sir John Junor, the Prime Minister’s pet Fleet Street poodle, chose to tryst with a gorgeous, pouting blonde at Kate’s Kitchen, a Gatwick Airport hideaway.
But when I learn that Sir John was casually clothed wearing a pair of old plimsolls on his feet but no socks, I must pose a question.
Surely Auchtermuchty’s favourite son should have learned by now not to go out squaring lassies without being properly attired?
Do you find the absence of socks as suspicious as I do? I think we should be told.
Auberon Waugh’s Diary
Strange letters arrive by every post promising me a million pounds if I agree to buy the Daily Express. At first this seems quite a generous offer until I reflect that its proprietor, the Elephant Man lookalike “Lord” Maffews of Kilimanjaro, really must be desperate for someone to read his rotten newspaper.
He has already appointed “Sir” Barry Lamb, the Australian counter-tenor who first introduced topless photographs in Fleet Street, to edit the miserable rag. Now “Sir” Barry is suing Lord Gnome for libel over some alleged inaccuracy or other, so we can all imagine what will happen to him.
On reflection I decide not to buy the Daily Express. It is a disgusting, ignorant and lower-class newspaper which I would not like my children to see; it might also inflame the sexual passions of my dear little Filipino servants.
The money might be quite convenient – some of my picture frames need reguilding and the 1982 clarets are proving horribly expensive – but we must all make sacrifices in these difficult times, and I expect I shall manage somehow.
4th November 1883
Plans for The Honourable Winkle (aka The Hon Ian Matthews) to set himself up as a racehorse trainer at Newmarket are being greeted with disbelief by those who know the workshy lad well.
Having risen sharply from being an Express “rep” to Deputy Managing Director of the Sunday Express Magazine (a job created specially for his talents), Winkle has been sighted at the Black Lubyanka in Fleet Street just twice this year.
Calls to his home are not put though until lunchtime as he “likes to lie in”. Most days, weather permitting, Winkle can be found on a golf course trying to better his handicap of four. An earlier ambition was to be a pro.
Several Newmarket stables have been looked over, exploratory bids, made but so far no deals clinched leaving Winkle with the prospect of another year’s loafing while dad, Lord Maffews, adds to the family’s £8 million fortune.
18th November 1983
In our issue No 517 Grovel made the serious allegation that Mr Jocelyn Stevens had “cheerily” spoken of the enormous losses being made by the Sunday Express Magazine. Private Eye now accepts that this report was pure invention, that the Magazine was in fact making a profit and that there was no truth whatever in the allegations made.
Auberon Waugh’s Diary
Any doubts I ever had that the Daily Express is doomed roll away and the sun shines again. Mr Bernard Shrimsley has joined the paper at last.
Bernard or “Slimy” is famous for being the first man in the history of the world to have tried to sue this column for alleged “libel”. His new position on the Daily Express may be a comparatively humble one, but the man who succeeded in losing 2,000,000 readers as editor of the News of the World and nearly closed the Mail on Sunday after 10 weeks will surely work his magic anew at the Black Lubyanka.
If “Lord” Maffews has any sense he will close all his newspapers as soon as he gets his hands on the £40,000,000 coming his way from the Reuters share out. Unless he moves fast the printers will have it off him. But to keep up morale, “Lord” Maffews has offered to give Daily Express readers the chance to own their own racehorse.
Here it is. I suppose someone must want it.
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