One in the Eye 1986

24th January 1986

Street of Shame

Michael Heseltine’s resignation provided Fleet Street leader writers with a gift of a subject for editorial comment. Up and down the Street of Shame typewriters became red hot as hacks weighed in on one side or the other.

Heseltine was praised as a shining light of principle or denounced as a low down self-seeking rat by all of the national newspapers.

All? Well not quite. The aggressively pro-Government Daily Express was conspicuous in not having a single word of editorial comment on the resignation, a sad and remarkable lapse.

FACT: One of the closest friends of Sir Larold Lamb, the courageous and independently minded Editor of the Getsworse, is Mr Michael Heseltine.

Grovel

The Libel of the Century between the Daily Getsworse’s scintillating Diarist Richard Compton Miller and former GLE Nigel Dumpster grinds on, I hear.

Compton Miller, determined to rebut Dumpster’s disgraceful allegation that he has homosexual tendencies, intends to call as witnesses a parade of gorgeous lovelies who have discussed Uganda with him.

They include one who, he claims, recently joined the Mile High Club with him on his way back from the Cayman Islands.

21st February 1986

Grovel

Scintillating Compton Miller of the William Hickey column came face to face with his nemesis, the former GLE Nigel Dempster, at Stringfellow’s club the other night.

Both had been invited to a “Men Only” party in honour of Peter “Lytton” Bowles, the well-known actor.

Despite the “stag” label Compton insisted on bringing a gorgeous pouting companion – a fact, he insisted, that had nothing to do with the Case of the Century (Eyes passim).

The evening swiftly degenerated into an ugly shouting match between the two Great Journalists during which the poor baffled Bowles quietly slipped away.

7th March 1986

Grovel

Dapper Getsworse boss David Stevens was startled in Sloane Street, Chelsea, the other day when a wild-eyed man jumped out of a white BMW and stuck his hand out.

“How are you sir?” inquired the apparition. Stevens replied: “Who are you?” 

It was former Greatest Living Englishman Nigel Dempster. Since the incident Dumpster has taken to appealing publicly in his column for Stevens to sack his scintillating rival, Compton Miller, editor of the brilliantly amusing William Hickey column.

21st March 1986

Street of Shame

Pint-sized Daily Express supremo David Stevens is increasingly the plaything of the Daily Mirror’s Captain Bob Maxwell. The latest manifestation of the disturbing development involves the front half of  fabled Chateau Despair, the Black Lubyanka in Fleet Street.

Stevens has ordained, à la Cap’n Bob, that one of the two lifts will in the future be for his personal use. It will have a girl operator as he cannot abide to travel alone in a lift. Moreover, on the short walk from the front door to his (executive) lift, he shall hitherto never have to endure the sight of tired hacks loitering there to greet their mistresses or oily printers trysting with their stockbrokers.

Meanwhile, two floors above their newly-salubrious scene Sir “Larold” Lamb’s final death throes as editor – he was the sixth Getsworse editor in 10 years – are causing distress and embarrassment to his sleazy successor Nick Lloyd. Larold says “the boy”, as he calls Lloyd, should have no access to important editorial papers until the moment next month when he lumbers off the scene.

Three floors above this squalid scene sits the great Sir Jonah, 94, brooding that his earlier judgement of Stevens – “this little man’s another Beaver” – might have been premature to say the least. Sir Jonah has discovered that Stevens’ obnoxious chief executive, former Mirrorman Roger Bowles, has been plotting to end the glorious 37-year editorship and turn the stately Sunday Express into a seedy tabloid.

Auchtermuchty’s most famous son has a bunker plan which will take immediate effect if the greasy Bowles prevails. Pocketing his pension and his pay-off he will accept a long-standing invitation of Sir David “Fester” English to join the Mail group as a highly-paid consultant, and write his immensely popular column for the Sunday Express’s bitter rival, the Mail on Sunday.

Street of Shame

Kelvin MacKenzie, editor of the Wapping Liar, is still proving to his loyal staff that he did not hit the intellectual heights at Dulwich College.

He said at a Fortress editorial conference recently: “Did anyone see Gandhi the other week?” They all said they had. “Wasn’t it crap?” said MacKenzie, “all those wogs in every bloody scene. Bloody boring.”

MacKenzie offered his industrial editor Tom Condon another £5,000 not to desert the Wapping Liar for the Daily Shah.

Said Condon: Kelvin, I am leaving because I cannot stand you or the paper any longer.

MacKenzie: What do you mean Tom, you cannot stand me? What have I done to you?

Condon: Kelvin, you are a liar, a cheat and a bully. 

MacKenzie: But Tom, I’m not as bad as I used to be.

Condon: This me you are talking to, not a Sun reader.

FACT: MacKenzie passed one O-level at Dulwich College. It was not in English.

* Drone note: Kelvin in fact went to Alleyn’s School in Dulwich.

*****

Champagne corks popped amid scenes of wild exuberance at the grim Manchester office of the [Daily] Star as rumour spread that its editor, Oriel graduate and unknown man Lloyd Turner had “got the Express job”. Sounds of merrymaking echoed through the Northern Lubyanka as Turner celebrated with his seedy henchman Ray Mills and drunken Scotsman Andy Carson.

The euphoria did not last long. To the consternation of tired and emotional Star hacks, it was revealed that the job had actually gone to dynamic whizz-kid Nick Lloyd.

Despair has now set in among Turner’s jaded hacks who must brace themselves to receive yet more excitable memos urging them to “keep one foot in the gutter”.

*****

4th April 1986

Street of Shame

George G. Ale and Jean Rook, the only remaining star names on the Daily Express, have applied for redundancy under the generous new terms (three weeks’ pay for every year of service, plus contract) offered by the half-witted United Newspapers chairman David Stevens. Each of them should clear £100,000.

Old hands at the Getsworse recall the last bonanza back in 1972 and marvel at the shining truth which emerged from that free-for-all has now been forgotten – i.e.: that those keenest to flee can get other jobs and those left, who can’t, are useless.

18th April, 1986

Street of Shame

Heartening news for ageing hacks comes from the Daily Getsworse. The paper, under the dynamic command of Nick “We want to be the paper Fergie reads” Lloyd, has attempted to rid itself of its most ancient and crumbling pensioners and thrown itself into a frenzy of redundancies. The fate of these old timers, however, has been encouraging.

First to leave the ship, Andrew Harvey, ballasted with a pay-off of £80,000, has now resurfaced at The Times. where he has a pleasant and well-paid job as picture editor.

Retired pop columnist Judith Simons (age 61) has just been drafted on to Shah’s Today to help struggling pop editor, 25-year-old Martin Townsend, keep in touch with the “young scene”.

Meanwhile Victor Davis, decrepit chief show business writer, who left the Lubyanka with a payment of £60,000, has also found new employment. After a weekend off he has surfaced at the Mail on Sunday as showbiz editor, replacing the tired and emotional Hilary Bonner. It remains to be seen who will take on Bernard Shrimsley (CoG), Sir Larold’s chief toady, for whom the future is looking black.

*****

The Star’s seedy deputy editor Ray Mills is in trouble with the cleaning staff at the grim Manchester Lubyanka who are fed up with finding wastepaper baskets half full noxious fluid after the drunken oaf has relieved himself in his office. 

The final straw came early one morning when they opened the door to find the fat slob slumped snoring open-mouthed in his chair, flies undone, a steaming wastepaper basket between his legs … and his by now flaccid member still held loosely in his grimy hand.

Meanwhile, like rats leaving a sinking ship, the Star’s drunken hacks are falling over themselves to grab the redundancy money being offered by their provincial masters from United Newspapers. They are desperate to distance themselves as far as possible from the pathetic rag before Oriel-educated Lloyd Turner (who he?), who never tells a lie unless his lips move, manages to close it single-handedly by taking the already dismal circulation plummeting to even greater depths.

*Ray Mills, who died in 2006, strongly denied this story, and we reprint it not to sully Ray’s memory as he was a decent chap, but to illustrate the sort of antics that DID occur in the old days – Ed

Read STEPHEN WOOD's rebuttal

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