Dog watches dog 22.04.04

It’s Hanks but no Hanks for Citizen

The Citizen had to use a file photo

It was just the stuff local newspaper reporters dream about. Double Oscar winner Tom Hanks unexpectedly pops into the office during a secret family holiday in your own backyard.

The dream came true for staff at the 7,000 circulation St Andrews Citizen in north-east Fife0- a fact the Scottish weekly paper somewhat surprisingly reported as a throwaway item on page seven of its 7 April edition.

Perhaps this was to hide the unfortunate fact that the paper failed to take any pictorial record of the star’s unannounced visit. The reason for this strange state of affairs was the location of the nearest company camera – a mere 23 miles away at Fife Free Press HQ in Kirkcaldy.

Staff in St Andrews have complained bitterly about the company’s frugal use of staff photographers, and the decision to base them all at head office. Snappers must be booked well in advance by writers, making it virtually impossible to cover spur-ofthemoment jobs, such as a visit by a Hollywood megastar.

Shame that parent company Johnston Press, which recently posted profits of £128m, couldn’t spare a few bob for a digital camera for the Citizen.

Dog hears that a widow placed a personal ad in the Scottish Farmer weekly newspaper seeking a relationship with a working farmer.

Instead of asking potential suitors to send a photo of themselves, she sought a picture of their farmhouse.

Word has it that at least one reply did indeed contain a picture of a farmhouse. Pragmatic chaps, these Scottish farmers.

Going, course and distance ideal for Racing Post man

They may not quite have matched Lord Archer’s record fundraising efforts, but more than 200 writers and journalists did their bit by taking part in the Flora London Marathon on Sunday.

Among them was Racing Post photographer Edward Whitaker, pictured left, who ran the 26-mile course as part of the Post’s effort to raise money for Direct Aid for Africa, which was founded by trainer Barney Curley.

Whitaker, three-time racing photographer of the year and competing in his first marathon, said: “The conditions were perfect for me – it was cool. I am really glad I wasn’t running on Thursday when it was 21 degrees. The last eight miles were really hard and I was in real pain.”

Despite the physical hardship Whitaker – who prepared with a half marathon in February – found it a “tremendous experience” and even managed to go for a jog on Monday. “I am obviously in better shape than I thought,” he told Dog.

Eugenie Verney, right, ran to raise money for the NUJ Members in Need Fund. “For those who like stats, I was the 16,424th to finish overall and 2,822nd woman,” she said.

“I also ran a ‘negative split’ – which means I ran the second half faster than the first half, something considered a good thing in running circles, so I’m pretty chuffed. Taking part was a tremendous experience and the support was fantastic. It was brilliant to see so many folk out on the streets right along the route despite the rain.”

Verney ran last year’s Edinburgh and Loch Ness marathons, but this was her first London Marathon and marked something of a homecoming as she is from North London.

Jennifer Hiscock, Marketing magazine’s features editor, was one of 12 staff from Haymarket Publishing who ran the race in aid of Scope and raised £15,000 for the charity that helps people with cerebral palsy. Hiscock, pictured in the centre of the Haymarket team above, said: “It was hard but it was made easier by the great atmosphere and the surprising number of vicars and church bands blessing us as we went past, which I thought was hilarious.”

Hiscock, who has only been running for three months, clubbed together with her colleagues to hire a personal trainer to help them prepare. “I would probably do it again to see if I could get a better time,” she said. No doubt she was running to the office on Monday to get ready for yet another challenge – Marketing’s radical relaunch as an A4 magazine.

Natalie follows in dad’s footsteps

There is a new picture byline in the glossy mags – Natalie Wood.

The “Wood” bit is pretty familiar… so could it be…? Yes, it could. Natalie is the 15-year-old daughter of former Daily Express super-snapper Steve Wood and clicked with David and Victoria Beckham on the Swiss ski slopes the other day. The photos have just appeared in OK! and Now and in publications worldwide.

Natalie, who is still doing her GCSEs in Surrey, was on holiday with her dad when the Beckham bedlam started. They rushed to David and Victoria’s chalet, where Steve, along with all the other photographers and their 600mm lenses, was held back by security.

Says Steve: “Natalie reached into my bag and took out an ordinary Nikon 35mm and casually walked past the security ring and straight up to Posh and Becks. She smiled sweetly as she started shooting. They smiled back.”

There is no question that she is daddy’s girl. Steve says: “As soon as the pics were printed, she demanded to know where her dosh was. I had to explain that payment could take eight weeks.”

Natalie told Dog: “I love the excitement of taking pictures of celebrities and the royals. It’s definitely what I want to do when I finish school.”

Natalie will be the third generation of Wood photographers. Steve’s brother, Chris, is also a snapper and Steve himself got a taste for photography when he went with his father, Jim, to Cuba to cover the Fidel Castro revolution.

From the Melton Times. The sister of fatal car crash victim Gavin Grant pays touching tribute to her brother, recorded by reporter Tara Rippin.


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