THE BLACK PUDDING BRAWL THEY BURIED FOR 40 YEARS
Only 40 years on can the shameful tale be fully told. Back in 1965,
when Manchester was still a hotbed of national journalists, the Express
held a dinner in the opulent, flock wallpapered dining room of the
Milverton Lodge hotel. Editor Bob Edwards was the guest of honour, who
sat down to enjoy a convivial night with 100 of his northern toilers.
Things began to go awry during the traditional “piping in of the
black puddings” ceremony, in which smart, uniformed waiters filed in
with piles of the northern delicacy.
Alas, they had forgotten to
take bottles of cooking brandy off the trolleys as they passed, and
these promptly disappeared down the necks of the revellers.
fatefully, news editor Eddie Laxton rose to speak… No one ever
discovered who hurled the first black pudding. But from that moment,
the missiles flew thick and fast. In a vivid account in the current
Newsletter for former Express hacks, the scene unfolds.
presented an “unmissable target” as he tried to bring order to the
proceedings, while a pudding “dripped mercilessly down his suit front”.
All eyes were on Edwards, “who observed the insurgency with steely
silence, while Peter Drake hovered over his shoulder with the
professionalism of a CIA agent trying to shield the boss from sniper
It took 10 minutes before peace could be restored. The
damages bill ran to thousands of pounds, which staff were later shamed
into coughing up in a whip-round.
As the Newsletter’s author,
Norman Luck, recalls: “The cash was raised, the incident was hushed up
and memories of the evening, which nowadays would have made a page lead
in the rival tabloids, were banished to the annals of history.”
Denial of access to live final footage is simply not cricket
BBC Scotland and Scottish Television are stumped by a decision by
the International Cricket Council (ICC) to refuse news access to live
coverage of Scotland’s victory over Ireland in the final of the ICC
Trophy in Dublin.
In what, according to Scottish news website allmediascotland,
“appears to be one of the most ludicrous and pedantic pieces of sports
bureaucracy”, the ICC refused to allow the broadcasters to show footage
from the match until play had completely ended – due to contractual
conflicts with the host broadcaster. A somewhat irrational decision,
given that the host was Asian giant, Sony, and the action was otherwise
unavailable in the UK.
However, the most draconian measure came
when veteran PR man for governing body Cricket Scotland, Mike Stanger,
was banned from taping the game on his video camera – a decision that
remained unchanged despite Stanger’s explanation that the video was
only for screening at Cricket Scotland’s annual dinner.
Top marks to the ad team on the Stroud News & Journal for their
placement of this ad for a debate on global peace, directly under the
review of the War of the Worlds.
They’ve seen it all before on the Isle of Wight
The pace of life is slower on the Isle of Wight than on the
mainland, so they say. But even its inhabitants must have been confused
by the news on pages 9, 12, 20, 36, 37, 38 and 39 of last week’s County
Didn’t they have a familiar ring to them?
Indeed they did. The
self same pages had run identically the week before – and a production
cock-up had caused them to be repeated.
No ‘tawdry disgrace’ here, then
Dog needs no reminding that The Guardian was one of the main
newspapers leading the attack on the judging of the British Press
Awards (“either unfair or a back-stairs negotiation between compromised
judges” or “a bit of tawdry disgrace in the judging”, depending on
which of its columnists you listened to).
So he was delighted to see that the panel judging the paper’s
amusing Media 100 list this week was a bastion of objectivity. A mere
33 per cent of its members were Guardian journalists or columnists.
then, that their editor was only considered the fifth most powerful
newspaper editor on the list – despite the fact that there are 19
papers with bigger circulations.
The 13 July South Wales Echo carried a story about a mugging in a
park. The headline? “Man, 38, robbed by pond in city beauty spot.”
They’re evil, those watery villains…
He really didn’t say that
Red faces at the kennel last week after we attributed comments made
by Matt Chapman, on the AtTheRaces channel, to Matt Tench. Our apologies
to (the other) Matt. A root and branch review of this page has been
instigated, and several high-level sackings are expected to follow.
Given the splash headline, the Bucks Free Press’s Midweek edition
might possibly have chosen a different picture to tease its
Belfast-born light aircraft pilot Robert Gray, 34, is suing the US
Government after he was banned from flying bigger planes because he’s a
“security threat”. The Northern Ireland Daily Mirror reports his lawyer
Sarah Wunsch’s claims that they’ve confused him with a Hispanic man and
said: “Robert’s as Irish as Saint Patrick.” Not a bad comparison,
except that St Patrick was, in fact, Welsh.