Brucie floods the bar


You could hear the braying for miles. 

The Fleet Street heavy mob turned out in force to toast the retirement of former Expressman Bruce Turner last week.

Bruce, who spent his declining years in the syndication department of the Telegraph after quitting the Grey Lubjanka with his diamond-encrusted wheelbarrow round about 2002, was last night ruefully examining the bar bill. The beer flowed like water and tasted little better. (Do you mean ‘bitter’? - Ed.) No, stop interrupting you bloody fool, Prodnose.

At least two of the guests were in their 80s and I am being careful and diplomatic here not to name them. Ian ‘Bunter’ Benfield and Peter ‘Pierre’ Michel would not thank me for that.

A host of former Expressmen and women of yawn, sorry yore, lurched into the Cheshire Cheese in London’s Fleet Street, for the beano and to tuck into the thoughtfully provided plate of sausages. 

They included, in no particular order:

Dicky Dismore, Jon Zackon, Stephen ‘Biffo’ Wood, Jon Smith (who had only retired from the Express the previous week), Nick ‘Dolly’ Dalton, Deborah Stone, Dave Harbord, Ray ‘Mucky’ King, Peter ‘Stewpot’ Steward, Wendy Fuller, Elaine ‘Binky’ Canham, David Laws, Bill Dickson, Andy Gregory (now night editor of the Mail’s iPad edition), Cath Whitbourn, Nick Ingram (now casual subbing on the Mail) and Vice Admiral Brian ‘Clint’ Izzard (RN retd). Oh, and someone called Alastair ‘Bingo' McIntyre.

Current Express subs Roy Povey, Shaggy Shearer and Rod Jones also attended. Bob Smith couldn’t make it after catching a dose of Bechuana Bum following a day out in Luton.

Bruce was accompanied by his wife Sylvie and sons and a host of chaps from the Telegraph, none of whom I recognised. I expect they hadn’t a bloody clue who I was either.

Here are some pics, taken late on with my phone without any care or attention to what I was doing or of whom I was photographing.

Mighty queer: It’s Hunheer (Ian Benfield) having  a beer with Deborah Stone in the background chatting to Bruce’s wife Sylvie (New readers note: Mr Benfield is not gay, he would like to point out that he is very heterosexual)

Dolly drop: Nick Dalton looking a little squiffy (it was quite late by then)

Loose as a Bruce: Bruce Turner, Deb Stone, Rod Jones and the back of a chap’s bonce

Nicked: Mr Ingram having a lovely time chatting to Bill Dickson with Clint Izzard and Cath Whitbourn in the background. I think that might be the top of Binky’s head

© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre