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.
Rolf: The inside story
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."
Remembering the Wizard of NZ
Could this really be the Australian judge arriving for England cricketer James Anderson's disciplinary hearing? We’ll leave that to your imagination. The picture, submitted to the Drone by Alan Frame, sparked an exchange of emails between former Daily Express journalists about the late, great copy taster Les Diver.
How not to write a caption
Latest horror from the seemingly sub-editor-free Mail Online
Updated 24th August
One in the Eye No 92
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
22nd April 1983
The latest editor of the Daily Express, £65,000-a-year Sir Albert “Larry” Lamb, is suing Tatler and writer James Fox for libel over a February article which alleged that he was known for “swilling expensive Burgundy and talking three-hour lunches”.
How the egregious Lamb thinks he can refute this is beyond me – and the minions of his erstwhile employer, Robert Holmes a Court, who were astounded at Lamb’s knowledge and penchant for the most expensive red wines of France – a taste gained during a free rein of Rupert Murdoch’s expense account while Larry was editor of The Sun.
Lamb’s refusal to drink anything but the best came to a head when his deputy at The Sun , Nick Lloyd (now editor of the Sunday People) gave a farewell party to the Mirror Group three years ago. Lloyd could only afford ersatz champagne for the hacks but Lamb made it known that he would only attend if “the right stuff” was available. Thus Lloyd had to put three bottles of Roederer Crystal aside for his boss whose glass was replenished with the £30-a-bottle bubbly throughout the evening!
Lord Drone remembers: This brings to mind a diktat by Sir Larry that champagne should never be referred to as “bubbly” in the columns of the Daily Express.
6th May 1983
Auberon Waugh’s Diary
A runner from the village bears news that somebody called Christopher Ward has been sacked as editor of the Daily Express, to be replaced by Sir Larry “Albert” Lamb, the Australian jackaroo who found four million morons across Britain to buy The Sun.
I know nothing about “Sir” Larry – at any rate nothing to his credit – except that he has a weakness for fine and expensive wines. If so, his first task must be to sack Kingsley Amis who writes his pathetic travesty of a wine column in the Daily Express.
Kingsley says he never buys French wines because they are too expensive, but finds everything he needs in vile, pasteurised Italian whites. That is his idea of a wine column.
Of course it is true that the readership of the Express is composed for the most part of yobboes, louts, crooks and skinheads. But it also includes a fair number of would-be social climbers on the first hazardous rungs of their climb. If the Express persists in rubbing their noses in this proletarian filth they will desert en masse for The Sun, and another great little British institution will have bitten the dust.
NEXT WEEK: How Larry Lamb secured the Express editorship, what happened to his decree that no writer’s copy should be “immune” from the subs, and John Junor’s joke at the expense of Felicity Green
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