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Charles Laurence

Charles Laurence, who died on October 23 2022 aged 72, was a newspaper correspondent who covered the 1982 Falklands War for The Sunday Telegraph and later became chief New York correspondent for The Daily Telegraph.

His friend MARGARET ASHWORTH has written a heartfelt appreciation of the flamboyant reporter and Jaguar enthusiast.

Charles Laurence remembered: A friend for life


Max Davidson

Max Davidson, long-suffering features editor of the Sunday Express and Sir John Junor’s right-hand man, has died after a short battle with cancer. He was 81.

Max was also gardening correspondent and as features editor was in charge of editing Junor's weekly Current Events column. He also had to cajole the staff into writing Letters to the Editor when readers weren't up to snuff.

A colleague recalls that he was very generous in handing out travel freebies.

Peter Steward told the Drone: 'Like most of us who worked for Junor, things could get a bit sticky under editors who followed Junor. I think, like me, Max left in 1996 when Addis took over the sinking ship.’

The death notice in the Daily Telegraph reads: 'Maxwell Hugh Davidson died peacefully, with his family by his side on 19th October 2022, aged 81. Husband of Patricia and much loved father of Peter and Fiona, grandfather of Daniel, Grace, Luke, Maxwell and James. Funeral will take place at St Mary’s, Old Amersham at 2.15 p.m. on 5th December. No flowers please. Donations to'

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Peter Hooley

DAILY Express Political Correspondent Peter Hooley, who covered Westminster for more than two decades, died in October 2022 aged 69 after a short illness.

Peter, the son of a Bomber Command veteran, first worked on Fleet Street in the early 1980s for the Daily Star’s Investigations unit before becoming part of the Daily Express political team, reporting on the Winter of Discontent and the premiership of Margaret Thatcher. He went on to cover Home Affairs before joining the Sunday Express which he left in 1996.

He combined great political insight with a sense of the ridiculous which was vital in the sometimes pompous world of politics.

Peter, who grew up in Harrogate, went on to become a press officer for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. A keen angler, he specialised in fishing issues and particularly enjoyed a secondment to the Caribbean.

He leaves a widow, Sarah, who is also a journalist, and two daughters.

John Ingham told the Drone: 'He was a top man and a fine reporter.'


Ian Stocks

Ian Stocks, a much-loved and respected figure on the Sunday Express and Evening Standard subs tables for 40 years, died in October 2022, aged 84.

Ian, whose daughter Elaine is also a sub, started his Saturday shift at the Sunday Express in 1967 which he continued until his retirement in 1996. It was here he met his wife Betty Fryer, who was the newsdesk secretary.

One of Ian’s passions was the Evening Standard Pudding Club which involved the subs trooping out of the office each afternoon to eat, er, some pudding. 

Press Gazette has an excellent tribute.


Scott Gormley 

FORMER Express and Mailman Scott Gormley died on 15 September, 2022 after a long illness. He was 78.

Scott began his career on local newspapers in Shropshire before moving to the Daily Mirror. 

He later worked on the Daily Mail, Daily Express and finally the Mail on Sunday, where he became Chief Sub Editor before being promoted to Executive Production Editor and later Head of Production at the launch of the Financial Mail on Sunday.

MoS personal finance editor Jeff Prestridge said: 'Scott could grasp the heart of a financial story in seconds and bring it to life on the page through imaginative display and headlines. His stellar production skills helped to make Financial Mail the best of its kind.'

Scott left the MoS in 2000 and retired to Shropshire, where he indulged his passion for golf.

He leaves a wife Tina and daughter Beth.


Roy Collins

Roy Collins, former chief sports writer at Today and The People, has died suddenly in Spain at the age of 73.

His friend, and one-time flat mate, PAUL WEAVER has paid a very personal tribute on the Sports Journalists’ Association website.


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Ewen Campbell

Another great operator has been lost. Sub, writer and back bencher Ewen Campbell, who worked on the Daily Star, several national titles, the Northern Echo and papers in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Auckland, has died of cancer aged 69.



Vernon Rowe

One of the really good guys, Vernon Rowe, former chief sub of the Daily Mirror and chief features sub of the Daily Star has died.

Drone Poetry Editor HUMPHREY PUMPHREY has penned this tribute:

So farewell then

Vernon Rowe,

We think you were 79

That’s quite old but far too early to go.

You were a fine chap who enjoyed a laugh

Until young Bingo crossed your path

On London Bridge as you left your train

He came up with the oft-repeated refrain …

Hello Vernie

Had a good journey?

Is your ticket a single

Or a returny?

Mirror Pensioners have the details

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Robert Gibson

ANOTHER great Fleet Street name has been lost. Rob Gibson, former political editor of the Daily Express, has died.

Rob who went on to start his own Westminster agency, Gallery News, was a popular name in the industry and warm tributes were paid last night.



Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee, who served as Diplomatic Correspondent at the Daily Express in the mid to late 1970s, has died at the age of 79.

He went on to write 300 episodes of the BBC Radio series This Sceptred Isle and a biography of Lord Carrington.


Clare Dover

Clare Dover, former medical correspondent of the Daily Express, died in May 2022 following a long fight against breast cancer. She was 85.

Di Latham, former LBC reporter and producer said in tribute: “To a broadcast news journalist like me, with even tighter deadlines than the dailies, Clare was a godsend. She really came into her own when the press pack was sent to cover international medical conferences in London. She could look through hundreds of extracts in a tome the weight of a brick, and home in on the newsworthy gems. 

“She had a forensic eye for scientific detail, producing accurate articles in a concise and lively style that not only made the abstruse intelligible, it made the inherently dull seem sensational. This skill endeared her to a group of academic Japanese scientists, whom she loved visiting, and who, to the irritation of their peers, always had their work headlining any conference in their field because of Clare’s presentation.

“She fought off two bouts of breast cancer. Her only complaint was invariably having to stand up on the train all the way back home from Barts after treatment, but the cure had cruel consequences. It damaged the mineral density of her bone, and especially in her jaw, which caused her such embarrassment that she withdrew socially, and almost total deafness meant she could no longer use a phone.

“Last year I received a handwritten letter from her, which, at 84 and ever the journalist, she headlined: ‘Going Senile.’ In a faultlessly coherent, and grammatically perfect piece, bubbling with enthusiasm, she described how, after diagnosis, she had joined a trial at Newham University Hospital. She was thrilled to be shown cells dying on the right side of her brain and this being slowed down by daily injections. She was thrilled that her ‘world class’ treatment came from Newham and she hypothesised, that while she had been ‘zonked out’, ‘the brain has been creating new pathways to isolate the damaged areas’.

It was the last I heard from her, but it was uplifting, un-self-pitying, and focused on scientific advance: it was Clare, the consummate professional, still on top of her game, and that’s the way I want to remember her.”

How to fail an interview by Clare Dover

A whale of a time at university 

Medical Journalists association tribute



David Wright

David Wright, a former Daily Express district reporter in Manchester who later moved to the Mirror, has died of cancer aged 82.

The Association of Mirror Pensioners has the details.


Alan McQuillan

From The Sun, 1 September

FORMER Sun wordsmith Alan McQuillan — a sub-editor on the paper for 27 years — has died at 65.

Alan began his career in 1977 as a trainee reporter in Widnes before switching to subbing on the Western Daily Press.

He moved to London to write BBC news bulletins at Broadcasting House and also worked for The Observer, Daily Mail and The Sunday Times.

Alan joined The Sun in 1988 and it became his long-term home as he helped guide a generation of young journalists.

After retiring as deputy chief sub-editor in 2015, he could not give up the job. 

Much to his family’s amusement, Alan would “sub” everyone’s conversations and check the paper every day to “maintain The Sun’s high standards”.

A proud family man, who loved playing tennis, he would have been 66 today. He leaves a wife, Janet, and two daughters.


Simon Greenberg

Simon Greenberg, who became the Evening Standard’s youngest sports editor, has died at the age of 52. 

He had been suffering from the degenerative Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. which had been diagnosed earlier this year.

Simon started his journalistic career on the Mail On Sunday and moved into public relations when he was appointed the first director of communications at Premier League club Chelsea.



Robert Richardson

Robert Richardson, the crime writer and Fleet Street sub-editor who wrote the brilliant Ode to the Ancient Sub-Editor, has died at the age of 80.




Bill Freeman

A former northern news editor of the Sunday Express, Bill Freeman, has died at the age of 89.

He took up the post in 1959 and, in 1963, he moved to the Daily Mirror as northern news editor, then assistant editor. In 1984 he became northern editor of the Sunday Mirror until the Manchester office closed down in the late 80s.

Colleague Alastair McQueen told the Drone: ‘Bill was a man who loved his news, his newspapers and adored his reporters. He was one of the very best, a joy to work for.

‘He was Northern News Editor of the Sunday Express in its heyday before moving from Great Ancoats Street to the Mirror.

'He believed passionately that there should be a “Northern flavour” and a strong presence by newspapers in the North.'

The Mirror Pensioner website has more details.


Alan Cooper

A former Daily Express sub-editor described as “one of the last great editors of print journalism” has died aged 78. He had been suffering from cancer.

Alan Cooper was a news sub in Manchester and moved on to edit both the Plymouth Herald and the Cornish Guardian during a 45-year career.



David Thurlow

One of the great Daily Express district reporters, David Thurlow, died on 12th January aged 88.

He was in hospital recovering from surgery to pin a broken hip when he contracted Covid. His wife, Jeanne and children were allowed to be with him during his last 48 hours.

As well as Jeanne, his wife of 64 years, David leaves children Fiona, Jonathan and Joanna, grandchildren Tom, Lucy, Annie, Rhea, Guy, Laura and Katie, and great-grandchildren Beatrice, Arthur, Jemima, Olive, Isabelle, Oliver, Brock, Edie and Paisley. 

David was immensely proud of his time on the Express as area man for East Anglia and later based in Southampton.

The family say that due  to COVID 19 restrictions, a private funeral will take place. 

Donations, if desired, to the Journalists' Charity or SportsAid c/o Kevin Holland Funeral Service, 246 Chichester Road, Bognor Regis PO21 5BA. Telephone: 01243 868630.



Peter Aldrich

Former Daily Express library clerk Peter Aldrich has died aged 74 in distressing circumstances.

Peter died from smoke inhalation after a fire broke out at his home. This was discovered after colleague Paul Ross called at his home and was told the news by a neighbour.

Peter, who was a really nice man, was a former FoC and director of the Express pension fund from 1993 to 2005.

He also played for the Express football team in the 1970s as pictured.

STEVE MILL told the Drone: 'I should like to echo your sentiment regarding the late Peter Aldrich. I worked on the second floor of the old Express building between 1975 and 1989 and knew Peter as a work colleague and can confirm that he was indeed a really nice man. 

'I was greatly saddened to read that he had passed away in, as you reported, such distressing circumstances.

'In addition to knowing Peter in the work place, I spent many a hugely entertaining hour in the company of Peter in either the (in)famous Poppinjay or the less well known/remembered Two Brewers. 

'I will always remember Peter raising his glass and proudly announce he was drinking neat gin!'

Alex Lindsay


Former Sunday Express Belfast correspondent Alex Lindsay died on Saturday 5 December aged 78. He had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for 13 years.

A sad story lies behind his death from Coronavirus at the Beaufort nursing home in Burscough, West Lancs.

Alex, who was also based for many years in Manchester, had been prevented from having close contact with his wife Sue, 72, for eight months because of the pandemic.

The situation became so upsetting that Mrs Lindsay wrote to her MP in September saying that in the past six months “I’ve not been close up to him, just once when we went to see a specialist in St Helens”.

She added: “I am full of admiration for the care home staff who work tirelessly to ensure the safety and comfort of the residents, but I feel this restriction on access is unfair and unjust and detrimental to residents’ mental health.

“More should be being done to facilitate a more normal contact between husband and wife.”

Unfortunately Alex died before the situation could be resolved.

The funeral will be held on Friday December 18 at 2pm at Southport which Sue is hoping to broadcast on Zoom.

The life of Alex 

Stephen Kahn


Stephen Kahn, who retired as city editor of the Daily Express in 2009, died on 21 November aged 75.

Steve had been admitted to hospital on 13 November after a heart attack a week earlier. His daughter Charlotte was with him for the last few days and his son Daniel was able to video call from New York where he now lives.

Before joining the Express, Kahn spent three years at the Daily Mail as a stock market reporter. 

He began his career on Industry Week, a magazine run by the Confederation of British Industry and also briefly worked on advertising trade title Campaign.

The kindest man on Fleet Street, by Ruth Sunderland

Bill Hawker


Bill Hawker, a former Daily Express news sub, died on Saturday after suffering a heart attack at home. He was 64. 

Bill joined The Sun as a news sub in August 1982 and returned to the paper in February 1995 after spells at The Age in Australia and the Daily Express back in London.

He was a huge sports fan and particularly enjoyed cricket, football and golf.

A Sun spokesman said Bill would be remembered as a popular and friendly colleague with an unrivalled work rate who made a huge contribution to the paper.

He leaves a wife Annie, son Christian and daughter Kira.

Lloyd Turner


As the Drone has become the website of record for the Express and Star titles,  the editor is keen to redress the balance and include some of the papers’ great names who would otherwise be forgotten.

So let us not forget Lloyd Turner, former editor of the Daily Star and former backbench executive on the Daily Express, who died on 12 September 1996 aged just 57.

He was, after all, unforgettable.

Here is his obituary from The Times.

Colin Northway


Colin Northway, who became the youngest features editor in Fleet Street when he joined the Daily Express, has died on his 78th birthday.

Northway began his career at Birmingham’s Sunday Mercury aged 18, later progressing on to the Daily Express in Manchester where he was made features editor.

Headhunted to London, he then became the youngest features editor in Fleet Street before moving to the south of France, where he lived with his wife Gillian for five years and wrote numerous spy thrillers.

Upon returning to England, Colin moved to Wolverhampton before becoming deputy editor of the Bridgnorth Journal in the mid-1980s, later becoming editor.

Colin's wife said: "He was a highly intelligent man and really was well liked by all his colleagues. He was very kind to his staff and loved working with them.

"He enjoyed an early retirement at 62."

Northway leaves two children, Daniel, 48, and Lisa 52, and six grandchildren, Elle, Harrison, Jude, Cameron, Joel and Sebastian.

Herbert Kretzmer


Former Daily Express and Daily Mail critic Herbert Kretzmer has died on October 14 aged 95.

Kretzmer found fame and untold fortune when he wrote the English libretto for Les Misérables in 1985. “I have never been able to explain what happened,” he said. “The overnight success of Les Mis has become a myth now, but it literally was overnight.”

He always referred to himself as a newspaperman first and a lyricist second.

Kretzmer was born in Kroonstad, South Africa, one of four sons of Lithuanian immigrants William and Tilly Kretzmer, who ran a furniture store. He entered journalism in 1946 as a writer of newsreel commentaries and documentary films for African Film Productions in Johannesburg.

He moved to London and joined the Daily Sketch in 1954 as a feature writer, moving to the Sunday Dispatch in 1959 and the Daily Express in 1962.

He was at the Express for 16 years as feature writer and theatre critic, sharing an office with the cartoonist Osbert Lancaster.

Kretzmer took over as theatre critic of the Daily Express from Bernard Levin, who had moved to the Daily Mail; the pair would file their respective overnight reviews and then meet for a midnight supper. In 1979 he too joined the Mail as television critic.

He was once recorded as saying: "Old songwriters don't die, they just 


Peter Shirley


FORMER Daily Express photographer and NUJ Father of the Chapel Peter Shirley has died. He was 83 and had been suffering from vascular dementia. 

Peter had done a short stint in the RAF where he was a photographer. That was the spark that led to his career as a snapper. 

Bryan Cooney


Celebrated sports writer Bryan Cooney has died on after a long and brave fight against cancer. He was 75.

He and his wife Margaret rejected a third blood transfusion in May because of the threat of coronavirus and Bryan passed away in a Glasgow hospice on Sunday, 13 September.

Bryan was a sports sub on the Daily Express in London before becoming Head of Sport at the Daily Mail until 2001 when he took early retirement. 

Before this he worked for various Fleet Street newspapers, including a ten-year stint as Chief Sports Writer for the Daily Star. 

After leaving the Mail, he wrote for the Sunday Herald and picked up three Sports Journalist of the Year awards.

In 2013 he was reported to be suffering from prostate cancer and a heart condition.

As a broadcaster, Bryan completed six interview series for BBC Radio Scotland, one of which took a bronze at the Sony Awards. 

He also narrated an edition of Radio Four’s celebrated Archive Hour. 

Bryan wrote three books: George Connelly, Celtic’s Lost Legend; Fingerprints of a Football Rascal, and most recently Gerry Rafferty: Renegade Heart, which is available currently on Amazon Kindle. 

Friend and colleague Tony Boullemier said: "No-one could have fought such an aggressive and all-enveloping cancer with greater determination. 

"RIP a top man, a great sports journalist and a wonderful writer."


Peter Watson


Peter Watson, sports editor of the Sunday Express and the London Evening News, has died aged 77.

The death notice in the Eastbourne Herald reads: WATSON Peter James Passed away peacefully on 25th April 2021. Much loved Husband to Shelia and Step Daughter Karina, missed very much by his good friends Barry and Gail. Funeral Service will take place at Eastbourne Crematorium Main Chapel. Family flowers only, if desired, donations to Parkinson's UK. c/o Haine & Son, 19 South Street, Eastbourne BN21 4UJ.

The funeral has already taken place.

His Sunday Express colleague Norman Giller wrote on Facebook: "A whirlwind has left us. He was old school and could rollock and then praise with equal ferocity. 

"He and I played for the Giller-Watson golf trophy for many years. So glad he had it at the end. My thoughts with Sheila. Rest easy Maestro.”


Nigel Griffiths


Former Evening Standard backbencher and Daily Express sub-editor Nigel Griffiths has died aged 68 after a short illness.

Daily Express editor Gary Jones described Griffiths as “a delightful gentleman, a tremendous journalist, and such a warm and empathetic character”.

James Murray

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James Murray, TV editor of the Daily Express from 1974 to 1986, has died aged 89.

He was deputy features editor from 1970 to 1974 and deputy editor of the Sunday Express in Manchester from 1969 to 1970.

James, who lived in Orpington, Kent, died in a care home but his death was not related to the Covid-19 virus.

Carol Sarler


Carol Sarler, who wrote a popular Wednesday column for the Daily Express for several years, has died at the age of 70.

Her friend and colleague David Robson has written an appreciation of Carol’s life HERE

Graham Ball

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Lord Drone is saddened to announce that former Sunday Express literary editor Graham Ball died on Sunday, 4 May, in a London hospital after a fall at home. He was 69.

He is pictured here by Mirrorpix in 1984.

Graham had three children, Oscar, Thomas and Rebecca, with his wife Tessa Hilton and four grandchildren.

David Banks


Former Daily Mirror editor David Banks has died at the age of 74.

He leaves a wife, Gemma, and two children.

Banks, a larger than life character, lived life to the full.

A colleague from his days as a Daily Express news sub in Manchester in the 1970s remembers: “He and another sub, Dave Barrie, had a fast drinking contest in an Ancoats pub one night. 

"Several times they poured pints down their throats but it wasn’t possible to say who had won. When Barrie suggested a decider, Banks said: ‘Can’t, mate: I’m only on a break’."

Banks grew up on a council estate and left school at 16, becoming a sub-editor on his local paper, the Warrington Guardian.

By 31, he was assistant chief sub at the Daily Mirror before joining the New York  Post.

He moved to The Sun in 1981, and later edited the New York Daily News, Sydney Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mirror.


Len Gould


FORMER Daily Express back bencher Len Gould has died at his home in Spain aged 73. He had been suffering from cancer.

Len, an amiable Scot, moved to the Express in London from Manchester and appeared a bit baffled by the Fleet Street office and the characters there. He would sit on the back bench, shaking his head and saying: ‘Amazing scenes. Amazing scenes.’

He went on to edit the Sunday People and became sports editor at the Daily Mail.

Expressman CLIVE GOOZEE said: 'I was saddened by the news of Len’s death. When he left the Manchester sports desk in 1986 to join Eddy Shah’s Today, Len invited me to his Ancoats farewell bash. 

'As was always the case when I visited the MX team, I had a great time, drank and ate too much. I stayed at the Gould house in Gatley, and next morning Len cooked me a full English. I met his first wife, Sandra, who had just come home after consulting an astrolologer to see if Len was making the right move. She was told Len would one day be working for a large man with dark hair. Maxwell?

'The last time we met was 2000 in Torrevieja on Spain’s Costa Blanca, where Len and Sandra, who predeceased him, had a retirement villa. Len took me and his dog for a vigorous walk over the huge sandy beach. It was a good workout for my bionic heart valve, installed  in 1999.'


Ann Morrow


FORMER Expresswoman Ann Morrow, who wrote for the paper in the Beaverbrook era before moving to The Times and The Daily Telegraph has died aged 86.

Her beat included royal tours, travel, beauty, interviews and briefly, for the Telegraph, Jimmy Carter’s America, where as a correspondent she enjoyed “surf and turf” with the President on board Air Force One.

Former BBC TV and Sky News correspondent KEITH GRAVES told the Drone: 

I was saddened to read of Anne Morrow’s death. My first day in The Daily Express London newsroom in 1963 I found myself sitting between Anne and Rita Marshall, a pretty nerve-racking introduction for a 22-year-old doing holiday relief from Manchester.

They were two very hard-nosed reporters but a delight to work with and learn from.

We young male reporters lived in fear of our brilliant news editor Keith Howard. Far worse though was a tongue lashing from Kenny (as was) and/or Marshall. A visit to Poppins usually put things right.

In later years it was my pleasure to cover a few HMQ overseas tours with Ann. It was always a pleasure to watch her put overbearing and pompous courtiers firmly in their places.



Arliss Rhind


ONE of the great characters of old Fleet Street, Arliss Rhind, has died at the age of 81.

Rhind, former news editor and assistant editor of the Daily Express, passed away in hospital near his home in Carnoustie, Scotland at 11.45pm on Christmas Eve. 

Tom Brown described Arliss as ‘a dear friend and cherished collague’. He told the Drone: 'Arliss and I were the best of mates on the Express reporters' desk and became a team running the news desk. 

'We had a very special relationship and I feel the family sense of loss and hurt. Arliss always stood up and always made a contribution, in his last years was chairman of Carnoustie community council.’

Rhind retired as news editor of The Courier in Dundee in 2007 after 50 years in journalism. He had  joined Courier owners DC Thomson as a junior reporter in 1957, beginning a career which saw him cover news stories around the world.

After eight years he moved to the Scottish Daily Express in Glasgow, and within two years was transferred to the head office of the Express in Fleet Street.

Arliss said when he retired: “Fleet Street was at its height at that time. It was the most exciting place in the world for a journalist.”

After a few years of general reporting, Arliss joined the ranks of Express foreign correspondents, covering assignments in Africa, America and the Far East.

He was appointed a junior executive in London in 1973 and within two years had been made news editor of the Express, a position he held for five years, working under eight Express editors, including Alistair Burnett and Derek Jameson.

He later became an assistant editor of the Daily Express.

In the early 1980s Arliss left the Express to join a former colleague, Sir David English, at the Daily Mail, as an associate and then assistant editor.

Later Arliss and his wife Dorothy returned to the Dundee area, where they set up sports businesses in Arbroath and Carnoustie.

In 1992 Arliss rejoined The Courier, taking over the news editor’s position in 1997.

He said: “By 1985, the whole ambience of Fleet Street had changed. New technology was moving in and the nationals were moving out of Fleet Street.

“I was one of the hot metal men, used to typewriters and clanking linotype machines. I had enjoyed the great days of Fleet Street and I felt it was time to go home.”

Dorothy, Arliss’s wife of 45 years, died in March 2007, prompting his decision to retire.

A funeral date has been tentative set for January 10 at Friockheim.


Tom Stoddart


Acclaimed photographer Tom Stoddart has died of cancer aged 67.

He began his career as a trainee on the Berwick Advertiser in 1970 before moving to London in 1978 to work for the Daily Express and other national newspapers and magazines.

During the 1980s Stoddart worked extensively for The Sunday Times and was in Beirut in 1982 when Israeli forces bombed Yasser Arafat’s besieged PLO base.

He was seriously injured in 1992 covering fighting in Bosnia, and in 1997 he was given access to Tony Blair’s historic general election campaign. 

He told the Evening Standard in 2019: “I have seen many awful things, but I have also seen a lot of fantastic and beautiful things.Humans do terrible things to each other, but there is also courage and humanity. That helps me keep it all in perspective…

“I’ve been very lucky in my career, with a ringside seat to history.”

The announcement of his death was made on his official Twitter account: “It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Tom after a brave fight against cancer. He felt blessed that he had found true happiness with Ailsa. The family kindly ask that their privacy be respected at this time.

“Tom touched the lives of so many as a brilliant, compassionate, courageous photographer whose legacy of work will continue to open the eyes for generations. He gave voice to those who did not have one and shone a light where there had been darkness.”

SPIKE DIVER writes: Tom’s sad death prompts me to reflect on how many photographers who worked for the Express in the 70s and 80s were, like him, really decent blokes. This was despite working in a high stress, competitive, dog-eat-dog environment where you were just one missed shutter click away from a fuck-up. 

In no particular order, let’s recall: Barry Gomer, John Rogers, Richard Young, Larry (Specsavers) Ellis, Dougie Morrison, Jack Kay and the doyen of them all, John Downing. This is not to diminish others not on the list, of course. Abrasive foot-in-the-door snappers, such as the late Harry Dempster, were equally as valuable. Just not so nice.

KIM WILLSHER: Last man down. Heartbroken to report that photographer Tom Stoddart has died. He was 67 and, unknown to many of us, had cancer. Tom was a brilliant photographer and his pictures speak for themselves, but he was also a truly good man.

He encouraged and mentored young photographers and photo-journalists and he would use the money from highly paid corporate or advertising work to fund trips to take photographs for charities to highlight suffering, often of children, in war zones or disasters or famines.

I remember when Tom smashed his shoulder after throwing himself over a wall in Bosnia under fire and falling heavily due to the weight of his camera bag. Around the same time but in a much less glamorous accident, I came back from Bosnia and fell down the stairs at home fracturing my back.

Both of us were off work for weeks, laid up under orders not to move but desperate to get back to Bosnia. Tom took this far more stoically than I did, joking that he now had a bullet-proof titanium replacement shoulder and was looking forward to setting off all the airport security machines.

When the former Express photographer John Downing was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Tom spent a lot of his own time and energy successfully organising John's dream of publishing a book of photographs.

He had a great wit and sense of humour and was very much loved by friends and even other photographers! This picture is of Danny McGrory, who died in 2007, John Downing, who died in 2020, and Tom, taken at my wedding reception in 2001. RIP.

Reg Lancaster

Reg Lancaster, one of the star photographers from the great days of the Daily Express, died on 13 December, 2020.

Reg photographed everything from sport and news to celebrity and film sets. He was on the staff of the paper for 44 years, joining in 1951. He spent time in London, Scotland and Paris. Reg was also a talented filmmaker and writer.

Remembering Reg

Ian Parrott

Former Express Group Managing Editor Ian Parrott has died aged 55.

Ian joined the company in the 1990s when production switched to Quark Express. His knowledge of the program and the Apple Mac computers on which it was produced was second to none.

In 2003 Ian was appointed Assistant Managing Editor (Production) and was Deputy Managing Editor from 2005 until 2007 when he was promoted again.

He was made redundant in 2012.

One of the good guys

Ivor Key

Ivor Key, former Daily Express staffer in New York and a great character has died at his home in Connecticut. He was 86.

Reporter John Edwards said: "George Gordon went to visit and found him dead in the living room. A shocking experience. Ivor had been wrestling serious illness for a few years.”

Our man in New York

Norman Cox

TRIBUTES have been pouring in for Daily Express features executive Norman Cox who has died at the age of 84. Norman was a wonderful man and a huge character with a terrific sense of  humour which is reflected in his colleagues' eulogies.


Jimmy Humphrey

The Drone is saddened to announce the death of former Daily and Sunday Express sub-editor James ‘Jimmy' Humphrey. He was 73.

Jimmy, who had been ill for some time, died in an air ambulance in France on 21 September, 2020 following a heart attack.

He had lived in the Dordogne village of Corgnac-sur-L’Isle for many years with his partner Leigh Andrews.

This picture of Jimmy, looking uncharacteristically grim, was taken from the TV last year when he appeared on BBC Breakfast discussing Brexit.

He said he was worried about continuing to receive free health care after undergoing three recent operations in France.

Lord Drone said: ‘Jim was a lovely man with a ready smile and winning giggle despite travelling regularly by the dreaded RyanAir from France for his regular Saturday shift.

‘He was one of the subbing greats and will be greatly missed.’

His friend and colleague Keith Martin said: 'Jimmy first moved to Fleet Street in his early twenties from the Coventry Evening Telegraph, joining the news subs on the Evening Standard, then based in Shoe Lane, in about 1973. He quickly excelled in his favourite role of copy taster and later deputising as foreign editor.

'A heart condition prompted his early retirement from the Standard in the late 90s, where he had worked for more than 25 years, and he moved from Brighton to the Dordogne region of south-west France, a country he loved. 

'He carried on working as a staff casual at the Daily and Sunday Express, where he had done a regular Saturday shift for several years, changing his day a week to a week a month, commuting from France. He eventually retired five or six years ago.

'While living in Brighton, Jimmy served time as a Conservative councillor, but fell out with his fellow Tories over rail privatisation, leaving the party and, eventually, the council.

'In 2013 Jimmy married his long-term partner Leigh Andrews, shortly after same-sex marriages were legalised in France.

'A seasoned raconteur, full of stories about many of the larger-than-life characters he had worked with during his many years in Fleet Street, he will be greatly missed by all who knew him and by those who had the privilege of working with him.

Vic Giles

Vic Giles, former Expressman and one of the great Fleet Street art editors, died on May 14, 2020 aged 92 at a private care home in Tunbridge Wells.

His second wife June, 89, had died only nine weeks earlier. Vic, with advancing Alzheimer’s disease, suffered a stroke on May 8.

The Genius of Vic


Neil Shand

Comedy writer Neil Shand, who worked for the Daily Express and the Daily Mail, has died aged 84.

Shand wrote prolifically during the 1960s and 70s, scripting gags for Jasper CarrottJim DavidsonLarry GraysonSpike MilliganBob Monkhouse and Mike Yarwood.

On his graduation from journalism to comedy, he explained: "I got fired from the Mail for being drunk one too many times.”

More on this


Michael Watts

Michael Watts, who wrote the Inspector Watts column in the Sunday Express and other publications for more than 35 years, has died at the age of 79.

He had been undergoing treatment for oesophageal cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

Watts began in journalism aged 16 as a reporter on the Nottingham Evening News. After four years there he became London editor of The Viewer television magazine for a year before joining the Sunday Express in 1960. 

He was variously gossip column editor, deputy news editor, and deputy editor in Manchester, and started the paper's Town Talk diary.

In 1969 he began The World of Michael Watts, a consumer column laced with social comment and humour. 

This concluded with the Great Corny Joke Contest, offering a cash prize of a Crisp Oncer, which at £1 was "the meanest  prize in Fleet Street”. 

In the 1980s, as the pound coin was replacing the pound note, Watts bought several hundreds of the paper version from a bank so that the Crisp Oncer prize could continue.

In carrying out investigations and taking up readers' battles with companies and bureaucracy, Watts became known as Inspector Watts and the column continued for 22 years, until he left the Sunday Express.

He started the column again in the relaunched London Evening News and, the following year, in Saga magazine.

Then in 1989 the Sunday Express asked Watts to bring it back to them, which lasted until 1991.

John McCormick

THE Drone is saddened to report that former Daily Express reporter John McCormick has died at the age of 76.

John, a fine reporter with an agreeable demeanour, worked for 42 years in journalism, starting off as a tea boy at the Scottish Daily Express before moving to Fleet Street. 

He retired in 1998 and leaves a widow Janina.

Ted Daly

Former Daily Express night news desk reporter Ted Daly, died on February 1, 2018 aged 87.

Ted spent much of his career on the Daily Mail and had been ill for some time.

His daughter Kathryn said: "Ted had been suffering for some time with several serious ailments. 

"It was expected and still comes as a kick in the gut.” 

Ted’s friend and colleague Fred Wehner described him as "my dear, close friend, one of the Daily Mail's most honorable inmates and one of Fleet Street's genuine darlings".

He added: "Amid the throng of 'rat-nosed reporters' (as Vincent Mulchrone might have described us all) Ted stood out as a man of strong principle. 

"I remember him defying the Night News Editor's order to re-write an Express story without first checking the facts. Arms akimbo, chin jutting out like Desperate Dan he challenged the man to his face as the entire Mail office came to a standstill.  

"He later moved to the Express."

Fred, who lives in Monroe, Georgia, went on: “I loved Ted dearly, as did Linda, and we shall miss our frequent visits and, later, phone calls. But I'm glad his suffering is over.

David Eliades told the Drone: "Ted used to be my invaluable late night reporter on the Express, when I was Night News Editor. He could give his magic touch to any breaking story.”

Alastair McIntyre said: "Ted was a lovely man and a fine companion who enlivened debate late at night on the Daily Express.

“The sight of Ted hoving into view carrying his large steaming coffee pot was always a delight.”

Pat Pilton said: "I remember Ted with great affection. The Express seldom failed to stand up a rival’s late night story and Ted and David E had much to do with that. 

"And, of course, along with Peter Floyd, organising the nightly bagel run.”

Frank Baldwin said: "When I first started in ‘the street of shame’ I had to hand deliver the type written ‘overnights’ to the various nationals (no faxes or emails in those days). 

"Ted was one of the few people who took the time to sit down with me and go through the stories, making suggestions on how they could be improved etc. 

"He was always welcoming and this helped pass what could be very long night shifts in those days."

Arthur Gould
It’s not often that one can laugh at an obituary but The Times has written a fine tribute to its former night editor Arthur Gould who has died aged 89.

The obit was written by Liz Gerard, a former Times sub who runs the SubScribe journalism website

Read the obituary here

Tom Pride
The Times has done it again. Hard on the heels of Liz Gerard’s magnificent obit on Arthur Gould comes another excellent tribute, this time to the paper’s Chief Sub Tom Pride, pictured, who has died aged 63.

Read it here

Arthur Davidson

Another day, another fine obit for a fine man. This time it is for lawyer Arthur Davidson who has died at the age of 91.

Not only was Davidson a former Labour MP, he was also northern legal manager for the Express in Manchester and later consultant to the legal department of Express Newspapers.

In 1987 he was hired by Lord Rothermere to be legal director for the Daily Mail.

Read the obit here

Don Mackay
Legendary Daily Mirror reporter Don Mackay was given a superb send-off at his funeral.

ALASTAIR CAMPBELL played the bagpipes, ALASTAIR McQUEEN gave a brilliant address and ROY GREENSLADE led the banging out of the coffin.

Don died on 17 November following complications from a rare form of blood cancer. He was 63.

His wife, the actress Nichola McAuliffe, was with him when he died in hospital.

Funeral report

Mirror tribute

Leslie Lee
Former Daily Express photographer Leslie Lee died on Tuesday 9 January, 2018, at a care home in Braintree, Essex. He was 92.

John Mead, Les’s picture editor at the Express from 1978 to 1985 said: “Les was a picture editor's dream, he would always do a photo job thoroughly, a lovely chap, always happy to guide new photographers in their first few weeks on the paper.”

CLICK HERE for a picture of Les in 1983 with other Express photographers.

Peter Welbourn
Peter ‘Wellers’ Welbourn,  former political editor of the Daily Star, who also worked for years on the Daily and Sunday Express, died on December 17.

He was 79 and had been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis. The funeral was held on January 11.

Drone tribute

Express report

Don Woodward

Former Daily Express deputy sports editor Don Woodward has died in hospital in Nottingham 
aged 89.

Clive Goozee reports that Don was given a good send off at his funeral on St Valentine's Day. 

Express old boys who attended were David Emery, Peter Tozer, former cricket writer Pat Gibson, as well as Trent Bridge and golfing friends.

Don, production legend

Len Greener

Legendary Daily Mirror picture editor Len Greener died suddenly on November 9. He was 79.

Although Len had been suffering from Parkinson's Disease in recent years
he still kept active and got himself to the pub every day whether he
needed to or not.

His son Rob, who is picture editor of the Daily Star,
said Len was in the Red Lion as usual at lunchtime on the day he died putting the world to rights and talking about his beloved Arsenal.

Len’s private funeral was held on November 21 in Canterbury.

Robin Esser

FLEET STREET legend Robin Esser has died aged 84 after a glittering 57-year career in national newspapers.

Esser, who passed away after a short illness on 6th November, realised his lifetime’s ambition when he became editor of the Sunday Express. He was later appointed executive managing editor of the Daily Mail. 

The funeral will be for family only but a memorial service will be held.

Former Express photographer John Knill told the Drone: "So sorry to hear of the passing of a friend and gentleman. Robin saved me and many of my Ancoats chums from being driven mad by the 'terrible twins' when he replaced them, became Northern Editor and returned sanity back to our beleaguered outpost. May he rest in peace."

Times obituary

Mail tribute

How Esser pipped me to the editor’s chair

Press Gazette tribute

Ron Pell

News can sometimes travel slowly in the World of Drone, so we make no apology for an update on the life of one of the great sub-editors Ron Pell, who died in December 2016 aged 79.

Ron started his career in journalism on the Barnsley Chronicle and the Sheffield Telegraph before moving to the Daily Mail in Manchester where he became splash sub.

In 1968 he switched to the Daily Mirror in London for eight years before joining the News of the World where he stayed until retiring in 1996.

Ron then worked as a freelance for the Daily Express, The Sun and The People.

At his funeral last January PATRICK WELLAND paid Ron a this brilliant tribute.

Graham Noble

Former news sub Graham Noble, who worked on a number of national newspapers including the Daily Express and the Daily Telegraph, died on 22nd June after a series of heart operations. He was 75 and leaves a partner Frances.

Roger Watkins remembers: 'Sad to hear about Graham's untimely death.  We used to work together as subs on the infamous Eric Price's Western Daily Press in Bristol in 1969 just before I joined the Express in Manchester. 

'He and his then wife Jean and their two children were near neighbours of Carol and me in Patchway just outside the city.

'Graham was much too much of an Edinburgh gentleman to work for the Daily Press or the Express for that matter.

'I recall he was much amused when another neighbour of ours, a West Indian woman called Precious, married a chap with the surname Little!

'Happy daze!’

NEW A Noble life 

John Honeywell

John Honeywell, a former managing editor of Express, Newspapers, Mirror Group and Today, died on 15 October, 2017 aged 69 after a short illness. He had been suffering from lung cancer.

He was editor at large for World of Cruising magazine where he was known as Captain Greybeard.

John’s wife and sons posted this on Facebook last night:
It is with great sadness that we have to let you know that at 6.20 this morning [Sunday] John passed away after a brief but brave battle with an aggressive form of lung cancer.

John lived his life to the full and we know that we are amongst many who will miss him terribly.

Sheila, Nick & Russ

Fellow cruiser’s eulogy

Express picture and more tributes

Tony Bodley

Daily Express rugby correspondent Tony Bodley has died aged 82 after never really recovering from a bad fall last year.

Tony’s former colleague Clive Goozee told the Drone: 'I was shocked to hear Tony had died. The last time I saw him, looking super fit and years younger than mid to late 70s, was at former Express deputy sports editor Peter Tozer's retirement party  . . . from the Daily Mail. 

'I don't think I ever saw Tony looking glum, he was always smiling.

'He was a golf partner at an Express event at Thorndon Park, Essex, in the mid 90s. I asked him if he did National Service and he told me he served in Cyprus, which I said must have been a good posting, to which Bodders replied: "Not really, the locals were using live ammunition”.'

Doyen of rugby writers

Robin Stafford

Robin Stafford, a distinguished foreign correspondent who headed the Daily Express New York office from 1961 to 1965 died in Tunbridge Wells Hospital, Kent, on 26th November, 2016. He was 86.

Robin, who also served in Paris and Tel Aviv and later became a spokesman for Nato, leaves a wife Barbara, daughter Lina and grandson Christopher.

Telegraph obituary 

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Chris Buckland

A large gathering of friends and colleagues of star political columnist Chris Buckland were at St Bride’s Church in Fleet Street, London, on 9th June for a moving memorial service. 

Buckland died on 28 February after a 10-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 73.

He began his career as a Daily Mail reporter in Manchester in 1964 before becoming this paper’s Belfast correspondent from 1965 to 1966.

Known for his easy charm, Buckland, from Blackburn, Lancashire,  went on to become a political editor, columnist and foreign correspondent for several national newspapers including The Sun, The News of the World, The People, Today and the Daily Mirror.

He told friends how his passion for journalism began as a young boy one day in 1953 when, as a paperboy, he stopped to read every front page’s coverage of the conquest of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing.

Throughout his 48 year career, Buckland showed an unerring eye for a story and delighted in exposing the often pompous nature of the political class. 

But this did not prevent him making lifelong friends in all political parties, as he did among his many colleagues.

Buckland died peacefully at the Wellington hospital in St John’s Wood, north London. 

Buckland never married but leaves a partner, Gillian Ross.

ASHLEY WALTON reports from the memorial service


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Paul Carter

The massed ranks of Fleet Street’s brightest and best turned out yesterday for the funeral of Paul Carter, formerly of the Daily Express and Daily Mail. It was an unforgettable day of tears and laughter, with the humour provided by Paul who, typically, micro-managed his own funeral.

Paul, one of the most talented and agreeable journalists in Fleet Street, died of cancer on March 24, 2017 in London’s Charing Cross Hospital. He was aged just 54.

He started his Fleet Street career in 1987 as a News Sub on the Daily Express and rose swiftly to the Night Editor’s chair.

Paul moved to the Daily Mail in 2000 when he fell out with editor Rosie Boycott and was promoted to joint Deputy Editor of the Mail in 2016.

He suffered his first bout of cancer in 1988 while still a news sub on the Express and had been given only weeks to live. A second doctor diagnosed him correctly and his life was saved.

He survived both liver and testicular cancer but died after a 10-week illness when the disease spread to the lungs. He never smoked.

In his own words … Paul bids us farewell

Get well pic from 1988

Daily Mail tribute


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Ross Tayne

One of the gentlest gentlemen of Fleet Street, Ross Tayne, was laid to rest alongside his beloved wife Mandy in a moving funeral service … which had an element of farce.

Ross, or Crommers as he was known to friends and colleagues on the Daily Express, also served as a sub-editor for many years on The People.

His friend Ken Band told the Drone before the funeral: 'Ross passed away peacefully in his sleep at home in Wimbledon in the early hours of Tuesday, April 4, 2017. He was 66.

‘He had been in indifferent health for some time but was in good spirits after discharging himself from hospital a few days earlier following treatment for a fall-related chest injury.”

A large group of farewell mourners bade him farewell at his funeral and interment which reunited him with his beloved wife Mandy.

The fondest of farewells

Memories of Crommers


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Simon Crookshank

ONE of Fleet Street's greatest characters, super sub and all-round good guy Simon Crookshank died on 19th January, 2013 after losing his brave battle against cancer. He was 66. 

The Drone's exclusive report of the funeral can be found here

Express obit



Bill O'Hagan

Sausage king Bill O'Hagan, former night news editor of the Daily Telegraph and one of Fleet Street's most colourful characters, has died of cancer at the age of 68. What is not widely known is that he was born Bill Bastard and, for reasons best known to himself, adopted his mother's maiden name.

Telegraph obit

Tribute from The Times

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Bob Kilbey

The Drone is sad to report the death of another valued friend and colleague. Bob Kilbey, a Daily Express sub-editor in the 1960s and 70s and a former BBC Radio Two disc jockey, has died at the age of 68.

He leaves a partner, Patricia and son Kevin. 

Drone tribute

Ashley Walton's funeral report

Hear Bob on Radio Two



James Sillavan

Cartoonist James Sillavan, who worked on the Daily Express art desk from 1980 until 1987, has died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 63.

A memorial service to commemorate the life of James will be held in three months time in the City of London. 

Guardian tribute

A jolly good chap


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Brian Hitchen

FORMER Sunday Express editor Brian Hitchen and his wife Nelli have been killed after being hit by a car near their holiday home in Altea, Spain.

They had parked their car and were crossing the road to meet friends for dinner when they were hit. 

Nelli died instantly and Brian was was taken to hospital, but died from his injuries after surgery and being placed in a medically-induced coma.

Hitchen, aged 77, was editor of the Daily Star from 1987 to 1994 and then moved to edit its sister publication, the Sunday Express for a year. After leaving the group, he set up his own media company.

EXCLUSIVE: Brian’s last poignant email

Peter Hill’s tribute 

Colleagues’ tributes

Times obituary

Telegraph obituary

Press Gazette report

Greenslade blog

Giant of the newsroom

Daily Mail report

Editors past and present attended the memorial service for Brian Hitchen at St Bride’s Church, London, on 8th May, 2014. 

Ashley Walton reports 

Order of service

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Brian Cashinella

Former DAILY  EXPRESS News Desk man Brian Cashinella has died from lung cancer after several months of illness. He was 75.

He started his career at the Manchester Evening News before graduating to the Daily Telegraph in Fleet Street and then The Times.

He later joined the News Desk team at the Express under news editor Arliss Rhind.

Brian died at his home in Kenley, Surrey, on Wednesday, 5th November. He is survived by wife, Pat, daughters Alison and Elizabeth, sons Damien and Julian and eight grandchildren.

Pat said that on the day Brian died he and the local priest had an animated hour-long discussion about their favourite football team, Manchester United. Five minutes after the priest left Brian died.

Times obit

An old fashioned reporter



Barrie Devney

The Daily Drone is sad to report the death of Barrie Devney, former industrial editor of the Daily Express, who passed away peacefully on 30th December, 2014 at the age of 81.

Barrie’s son Chris said: 'Dad will be bloody annoyed at the fact that he once wrote a fitting obituary for Arthur Scargill, and that he was rather hoping that he'd get to publish that first!’

A successful and fun-filled memorial service was held for Barrie Devney, former industrial editor of the Daily Express, at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street on Tuesday.

It was attended by more than 60 people who later adjourned to the adjacent Punch Tavern for lunch.

Report and pictures

Telegraph obituary

TERRY PATTINSON remembers his old friend

Barrie was an inspiration to the big names, says CLARE DOVER

My friend and deadly rival by JAMES DAVIES



Dan Macdonald

Veteran Daily Express news sub-editor Dan MacDonald has died at the age of 88.

TERRY MANNERS reports from a moving funeral


Colin Pratt

Daily Express regional reporter Colin Pratt has died at his home in Pezenas, southern France after a long illness. He was 76.

Friend and former colleague Tom Brown said: 'Colin was the best, kindest and most loyal of colleagues. He and Angie kept open house and were always warm and welcoming. Like many others, I feel a real sense of personal loss.'

Legendary Express man dies

Friends pay tribute


Chris Evenden

Former Daily Express news sub Chris Evenden died on Friday 5th September, 2014. After leaving the Express in the mid-1970s for a job with the Ford Motor Company, he later became Chief Sub of The People.


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Dennis Griffiths

Dennis Griffiths, former production director of the Evening Standard and research and development director with Express Newspapers, died on Christmas Eve aged 82.

Greenslade tribute


Roy Eves

Roy Eves, former deputy features editor of the Daily Express in Manchester, died peacefully in hospital on 18th September aged 83.

Roy, who had four grandchildren, was an active union member, Liverpool football fan and a crown green bowler.

His colleague Roger Watkins recalled: ‘Roy was a great character, known, among other things, for celebrating a nice drink after the first edition had gone by standing on a bar stool and stripping while singing "Have you seen the Muffin Man?" with a full pint balanced on his head. Talk about flooding the bar!’


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Alan “Bacca’ Baxter

One of the great characters of the Daily Express, North East district reporter Alan ‘Bacca’ Baxter, has died at the age of 82.

Bill Hunter reports on a poignant deathbed scene which ‘will join the best of journalism’s foklore’. PLUS tributes from colleagues

Memorial service report



Bill ‘Didge’ Reynolds

The Drone is very sad to report that former Daily Express News Sub Editor Bill ‘Didge’ Reynolds died on 30 August, 2015. He was 73.

Bill, who had bravely fought cancer for the past year, had been in a weakened state and fell downstairs after getting out of bed at his home in Buckhurst Hill, Essex.

He died after being taken to the London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Didge, pictured above in 2010 on one of his beloved country walks, was a wonderful man who was much loved by everyone who knew him.

Among the huge turnout  for the funeral, held on 15th September in Hainault, Essex, were many old Fleet Street hands.

Roy Greenslade has written a lovely tribute to Bill in The Guardian HERE






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Rod Kiddell

Rod Kiddell, who quit as editor of the East Anglian Daily Times and joined the Daily Express as a freelance news sub in 1988, has died at the age of 72



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Kingsley Squire

Former Daily Express reporter Kingsley Squire died in November 2015 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July. Kingsley, pictured with his wife Monica, is said to have had a 'wonderful, peaceful death surrounded by his family'. He was 78.

The funeral was held on 11th December. Donations can be made to Sidmouth Hospiscare and Sidmouth RNLI care of Potbury’s Funeral Directors, 111 High St, Sidmouth EX10 8LB.

CLARE DOVER, who worked with Kingsley on the Express in London, had made elaborate arrangements to attend the funeral in Devon. But her plans went slightly awry.

She explained: "The best laid plans, and all that … Jill King and I had made elaborate plans to go to Kingsley's funeral together, with me getting up in Manor Park, East London, at the unearthly hour of 4.15 am to get Tubes and train to meet up at Hildenborough, Kent, the nearest station to Jill's home, for the drive to Devon in Jill's car. 

"Map reading had been promised. I had set two alarm clocks, to be doubly certain of waking - and managed to sleep through them both, awaking just in time to stop Jill from heading to the station. She promised to tell me all about it. So here I am, at home, toasting Kingsley with port and mince pies and holding a solo wake. R.I.P. Kingsley."

Kingsley’s colleague JAMES DAVIES told the Drone: ‘Kingsley was truly one of the good guys.

'Whenever you had a job in Birmingham you were guaranteed a warm welcome. So warm, in fact, that on one spectacularly bibulous occasion I missed the last train back to London and was smuggled into the Squire household where all were abed, well past midnight, and given sanctuary on Kingsley's sofa.

'I was awakened at dawn by his youngest running into the lounge and screaming: "Mummy there's a man in our house”.

'Hungover, unwashed and unshaven, I found myself trying to explain to Monica the circumstances of my unwarranted arrival. As I remember she coped magnificently – testimony to the training of most journalists' wives!

'I used to tell Kingsley that the older he got the more he resembled John the Baptist.  His powerful response to pancreatic cancer was admirably biblical.’

NEW A great journalist in the Crusader tradition – Jill King’s tribute

Express report

Kingsley’s blog

Kingsley sings What a Wonderful World

Tribute by Kingsley’s son


Jack Warden 

The former political editor of the Daily Express, died on 23rd July, 2015, at the age of 87.

He was a political correspondent on the Herald in Scotland before being hired by Express editor Alastair Burnet in 1975. He stayed with the paper until the mid-1980s.

Jack leaves a daughter, Anne and a son, John. He was married twice, his wives Harriet and Marion having predeceased him.

He was always known as Jack but was bylined as John Warden because his mother considered the name Jack vulgar.

Report and picture


Vic Mayhew

Former night editor of The Sun Vic Mayhew died on June 18th, 2015, aged 77.

Roy Greenslade has written an excellent tribute in the Guardian which may be viewed HERE

One-time Expressman Jon Zackon, who worked with Vic on The Sun, has written this hilarious anecdote:

A sub normal night



Sir Peter O’Sullevan

Celebrated Daily Express horse racing correspondent Sir Peter O’Sullevan died on July 29 at the age of 97.

Sir Peter, who was also a famed TV commentator for the BBC, worked for the Express for 36 years. He died at his London home after a long illness.

He was involved in some of the earliest television commentaries on any sport in the late 1940s and also did many radio commentaries in his earlier years.

The Daily Telegraph obituary said: 'Following the death in 1964 of the Express’s proprietor Lord Beaverbrook, there were significant changes at the newspaper. Few were to O’Sullevan’s liking, and in July 1973, after a new sports editor had altered his copy and deleted two paragraphs, he resigned and tentatively accepted an offer from the Daily Mail. 

But the new owner of the Express, Sir Max Aitken, persuaded him to withdraw his resignation after raising his salary from £5,500 to £9,000 a year and offering other concessions. O’Sullevan continued to write for the Daily Express until January 1985.

Telegraph obituary


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Keith Rowley

Daily Star backbencher Keith Rowley died of a heart attack at home on May 19, 2015. He was just 56.

Keith, who had been working the day before, leaves a wife, three children and a grand-daughter. 

Facebook tributes


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Terry Evans

One of the kindest and most-respected Fleet Street journalists, Terry Evans, died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism on April 7, 2015, aged 69. 

Terry, who retired as picture editor of the Sunday Express in September 2012, served on the Daily and Sunday Express for 39 years.

Colleague Alan Frame said: 'Those lucky enough to have known Terry Evans and work with him at the Express (both Daily and Sunday) in the good and not-so-good times, will agree that he was clever, resourceful, incredibly hard-working and, damn it, just plain decent without a hint of malice. 

'He was simply the best and those lucky enough to have been his friend (we are a very large community) are sad beyond words because the end came without any warning. 

'Our deepest sympathies to Christine and Jonathan and the extended family.’

Devoted widow Christine’s brave eulogy at funeral

The nicest bloke in Fleet Street, a tribute by Richard Dismore

The man who changed my life, by Stephen Wood

John Knill pays tribute to a class act

Express obituary


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Bon viveur Finn in his prime                        Picture by DEREK HUDSON

Philip Finn

Former Expressman Philip Finn has died after a courageous battle against cancer. He was 79.

Phil, who ran the Express New York office for many years, lost his fight for life on Monday, May 4, 2014, a few hours after being discharged from hospital to spend his remaining days at home in Aiken, South Carolina.

His wife Ann Marie, who was at Phil’s side when he died, had earlier written in an email to friends: "Hi, very sad news. Phil has been released from hospital. He is coming home to hospice [care]. He had a procedure to take fluid off his lung. Well we have been told the results. The cancer is in his blood and his fluids. So Phil is coming home to be with me and his dogs. We will keep him comfortable. 

"He wants to come home. He knows what to expect and he is at peace with it. We have a wonderful marriage and have had so much fun. I don't know how to end this note but to say. We love you all. Cheers AM.”

Former New York-based snapper Derek Hudson said:

"Philip Finn was, as described by my dear friend Michael Brennan, an 'Ace Reporter' with whom I had the unique privilege to work alongside early in my career based in New York. 

"What I didn't learn from my compatriot Phil wasn't worth knowing. His infectious laughter was only matched by his unrivalled skills at getting THE story before his peers had opened an eyelid.
Phil pulled off more Worl
d Exclusives than was decent in a lifetime of reporting yet he took it all in his stride. A more fun-loving and generous man would be hard to find – always first to offer a drink at the bar or invite you home for a fine wine dinner. 

"From the day we met he proffered his friendship and I took it very seriously making my 10-year tenure in NYC nothing but an immeasurable pleasure. 

"All of us who had the good fortune to know Phil will know just how lovely a husband he was to his Scots wife Ann Marie to whom I offer sincere condolences.

"Goodbye Phil! Thank you for everything good buddy.”

More tributes

Express obit

 Finn’s final dispatch

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CANCER FIGHT: Lord with his wife Juliet

Graham Lord

Renowned author Graham Lord, former Literary Editor of the Sunday Express, has died at the age of 72.

He had been ill with cancer for the past year and died on 13th June, 2015. His wife Juliet, an artist, was by his side.

Lord had been expected to succeed Sir John Junor as editor of the Sunday Express, until JJ sabotaged his chances.

He subsequently wrote an unflattering portrait about Junor in his book Lord’s Ladies and Gentlemen: 100 Legends of the 20th Century which can be read here.

Lord was born in 1943 in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and schooled there although his childhood home was in Portuguese Mozambique. He took an honours degree in History at Cambridge, edited the university newspaper Varsity and joined the Sunday Express in London in 1965, where he spent 27 years, 23 of them as Literary Editor, writing a weekly column about books and interviewing almost every major English language author of the 1960s to 1990s, from P G Wodehouse and Graham Greene to Muriel Spark and Ruth Rendell. 

In 1987 he launched the £20,000 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award and after leaving the paper in 1992 wrote regular literary, travel and opinion pieces for the Daily Telegraph, The Times and the Daily Mail. 

From 1994 to 1996 he edited the short story magazine Raconteur. 

Lord’s latest novel, Under a Hammock Moon, is a comic love/adventure story set on a small Caribbean island similar to the one where he lived with his Juliet. They also shared a house in the South of France and an apartment in London. 

He leaves two daughters and two grandchildren in their 20s. Juliet has a son, a daughter and five grandchildren.

Telegraph obit


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Sir Jocelyn Stevens

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.

Times obituary

Guardian obituary

Greenslade tribute

An old hack remembers

Hear the old rogue on Desert Island Discs


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Chapman Pincher

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."


Last Express interview

Friends' Facebook tributes



Roger Williams

Former editorial assistant Roger Williams has died aged 73.

Tony Langridge, who once worked on the Daily Express Picture Desk, writes:

Roger, a distinctly recognisable figure in a black blazer and  highly-polished handmade brogues, passed away on 15th February, 2015, finally succumbing to cancer. 

Many colleagues will remember Roger surviving a horrendous fall from a fourth floor stairwell in the Fleet Street building. After several months recuperating he returned to serve on the editorial floor until his retirement in 2005, having completed 47 years service.

This gave him the opportunity to pursue further his all-consuming hobby cricket. As an avid Kent supporter he would travel the country in support of his team. He also enjoyed listening to classical music.

His funeral service took place at Eltham Crematorium on 18th March.

The family wishes to thank Peter Aldrich who arranged for a wreath to be sent on behalf of existing union members in the Chapel, who have fond memories of Roger.


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John Lloyd

Tributes have been pouring into the Drone following the death of John “The Welsh” Lloyd, a sports sub on the Daily Express for around 40 years.

John, one of the great Fleet Street characters, died in London on April 6th, 2016, after a short illness. He was 87.

His god daughter, former Daily Star reporter VIRGINIA HILL, told the Drone:

"John was a wonderful man, a passionate Welshman who loved his boxing and rugby. He was always happy to put up visitors in his Grays Inn Road flat and track down tickets for sporting events and shows for friends and colleagues. 

"He started his career in the 1950s on the Merthyr Express, later working for the Western Mail and Echo in Cardiff, before moving on to the Daily Express. 

“John later encouraged his great friend Jim Hill to join him at the Express as Welsh sports writer. Jim was my father and John  my godfather. He will be much missed."

Ticket to heaven


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Michael Hanlon

Michael Hanlon, former science editor of the Daily Express and later of the Daily Mail, has died suddenly aged 51.

He collapsed with a heart attack on 9th February, 2016, and was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to save him.

Hanlon, whom Lord Drone recalls was of a sunny disposition, had just left a meeting in London to discuss his plan to create a prehistoric attraction.

He leaves an eight -year-old son by his wife Elena Seymenliyska, who is a journalist.

More here


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Graham Wilson

Daily Express hockey correspondent Graham Wilson died on January 20, 2016, aged 63. 

Graham lost his life following a short illness two months after his 22-year-old son Tom was killed in a freak hockey accident.

Hockey’s greatest


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Mike Deane

Mike Deane, who was a news sub before becoming managing editor of the Daily Express, died on 
13th January, 2016, aged 70 after a brave and determined 10-year fight against cancer.

The funeral was held at Roselawn Crematorium, Belfast.

Funeral report

Tribute by Alan Frame


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Tom McGhie

One of the nicest men in Fleet Street, former Daily Express City Editor Tom McGhie, died on March 2, 2016, aged 66.

Tom began his career on the Birmingham Post in the early 1970s before moving to the London Daily News, Daily Star and Glasgow Herald.

In 1992 he became City Editor of the Daily Express. He joined the Mail on Sunday in 1999 and worked as the paper's senior business correspondent until he retired in 2012.

Tom's career took him around the world including a stint as a foreign correspondent in Moscow.

He reported on some of the biggest business and industrial stories – from the miners’ strike in the 1980s to the recent fracking and shale gas boom.

Tom was much loved by his colleagues who appreciated his dry sense of humour. 

He was particularly known for his kindness towards junior staff.

Ruth Sunderland’s tribute


Bernard Shrimsley

One of the giants of Fleet Street, Bernard Shrimsley, died on June 9, 2016 aged 85.

He spent the last 13 years of his career on the Daily Express, first as assistant editor to Larry Lamb, who had left The Sun in 1981, and then as associate editor to Nicholas Lloyd whom he had recruited to The Sun in 1969.

Roger Watkins, who worked with Shrimsley on the Daily Express, told the Drone: "He once told me of the time he had to sack the astrologer, a homely woman in her sixties. 

"Oh, Bernard," she said, visibly upset, this has come completely out of the blue."

"Ah yes," he replied, "I confess that has a lot to do with it."

The Times says Bernard did not drink but he did recall working on the Mirror with Larry Lamb who definitely did.

Apparently, Larry would go on a break, down several pints (it was only later that he "graduated" to Scotch) and then announce: "Now we know we like it, we'll have some!”

He spiked my story, says NEIL MACKWOOD

Telegraph obit

Times obit

Link to Times if you have no subscription

Roy Greenslade’s tribute in The Guardian

Lloyd Turner

Lloyd Turner, former editor of the Daily Star and backbench executive on the Daily Express,  died on 12 September, 1996 aged 57.

Times obituary 

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