Profile: Kelvin Mackenzie, columnist

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The Independent Online

Shouldn't he be generating news rather than taking part in it?

He probably wouldn't see it that way. The former Sun editor and columnist is to end his long association with the News International tabloid and move to the Daily Mail. He has penned his column every week since 2005.

How does he feel about leaving?

"I will miss the readers," he said, adding: "I felt, probably conceitedly, that I had an umbilical cord to their issues and their thought processes."

So it's goodbye to the public face of The Sun?

It seems so. MacKenzie was editor during its 1980s "golden era". Under his rule the paper produced such memorable front-page headlines as "Freddie Starr ate my hamster" and "Gotcha" (the latter following the sinking of the Belgrano in the Falklands War).

Does the Mail know what it's getting?

Undoubtedly. This is a man who said to then-Prime Minister John Major during the exchange-rate crisis in 1992: "I've got a large bucket of sh*t lying on my desk and tomorrow morning I'm going to pour it all over your head."