Ye olde Fleet Street

Listening to The Media Show’s discussion of how Mrs T changed the face of the newspaper industry, I couldn’t help thinking of the classic Not The Nine O’Clock News sketch about a defunct print worker.  Rowan Atkinson’s blustering union rep was the 1980s equivalent of Peter Sellers’ Fred Kite. (For some reason, this clip only has freeze-frames rather than the full video, but never mind.)


As for life on the top floor, Graham Lord’s reminiscences about the Prime Minister’s admirer, gruesome Sunday Express editor John Junor,  include a story about the time Lord was dispatched to interview  James Baldwin. When he handed in his copy, he discovered that Junor was none too happy:,

“Baldwin,” he growled. “He’s black.”


“He is also a homosexual.”


“I didnae ken that he is black.”


“Nor was I aware that he is a queer.”

I gathered my courage. “Well, that’s the whole point of Baldwin,” I said. “All his books are about being black and homosexual.”

“Ye should hae warrrned me,” he muttered. “The Sunday Express is a wholesome family newspaper. The Sunday Express disnae publicise black perrrverrrts.

[Via Sathnam Sanghera]

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