Inside Story: The ex-editors' files
From writing children's books to working at Battersea Dogs' Home, Britain's national newspaper editors have taken diverse paths since leaving the hot seat. Sophie Morris reports
Monday 09 May 2005
Daily Express 1995-98
Joined The Mail on Sunday as a consultant editor for a year. Moved to Toronto to edit the Globe and Mail and returned to the UK in 2002 to take up his present post as assistant editor of the Financial Times.
Sunday People 1988-89
Was an executive producer at Sky until 1991, then concentrated on his publishing empire: Blake Publishing, John Blake Publishing and Metro Publishing. He specialises in printing tabloid-friendly books such as the life stories of the notorious prisoner Charles Bronson and the prize fighter Lennie McLean.
The Independent on Sunday 1996-98
After two years at the helm of the Sindy, she switched to The Independent for a brief spell before taking over the Daily Express from 1998 to 2001. She currently appears regularly on BBC Radio 4 and on television's Late Review and Saturday Review, in addition to contributing to the Daily Mail and The Observer. In between writing her autobiography, she tends to her nursery and keeps pigs and chickens.
News of the World 1988-93
Stepped down from the post because of illness and is now living in East Anglia.
Sunday Mirror 1994
He has worked as a consultant for Express Newspapers, Talk Radio (for which he produced Kirsty Young's breakfast show) and TalkSport. Following an acrimonious divorce from his TV presenter wife Lowri Turner, he dissolved their production company and set up the media consultancy Supernova Projects three years ago. His main role today is as head of communications for the children's sports charity Sparks.
Lord William F Deedes
The Daily Telegraph 1974-86
Before editing, Bill Deedes spent 24 years as a Tory MP, the only person ever to hold both offices. He still writes leader articles for the Telegraph and has written two books, including Brief Lives, a collection of biographies of the characters he has met during his 70 years in journalism. Now 91, he has reportedly agreed to appear on Have I Got News for You before his next birthday.
Sunday Express 1996
Spread her wings as consultant editor of The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Edinburgh Evening News, Sunday Business and Gear magazine in New York between 1997 and 2001. Since 2001, she has been Condé Nast's president of new business.
Daily Express 1961 and 1963-65; Sunday People 1966-72; Sunday Mirror 1972-84
Served as director of Mirror Group Newspapers from 1976 to 1988 and chairman from 1985 to 1986, and from 1990 to 1995 was Today's ombudsman. He marked his retirement with his autobiography Goodbye Fleet Street in 1988, but continued putting his tabloid experience to good use on the scoop of the year panel at the London Press Club until 2003.
Sunday Express 1986-89
Became Express Newspapers group editorial consultant from 1989 to 1990. He moved to the Mail as editorial and media consultant in 1990, and became executive managing editor in 1998.
Sir Harold Evans
The Sunday Times 1967-81; The Times 1981-82
Went to America and developed a successful career in publishing, launching Condé Nast Traveler in 1986. He was vice-president and senior editor at Weidenfeld and Nicholson, and then president and publisher of Random House. He is married to the British magazine legend Tina Brown, and the couple are part of the Manhattan literati. Evans has taken US citizenship. They Made America, the second part of his planned trilogy of heavyweight political books (the first was the best-seller The American Century) was published last year. He was knighted in 2004.
The Observer 1993-95
Moved to Hong Kong and edited the South China Morning Post for four years. He was associate editor of Sunday Business in 2000. He has written books about China. His latest book, The Sinking of the Lancastria, reveals Churchill's cover-up of a huge wartime maritime disaster. As well as writing and broadcasting, last year he co-founded earlywarning.com, an innovative news website that aims to analyse and predict rather than report the news.
The Independent on Sunday 1990-91
Moved to the London Evening Standard for three years as associate editor. He wrote a column for The Daily Telegraph as well as becoming The Spectator's media correspondent. He fell foul of editorial censorship early this year over a column about staff cuts at The Daily Telegraph. He now writes for The Independent's Media Weekly, and a Daily Mail column.
Daily Mirror 1990-91
Became consultant editor to Today and The Sunday Times. A year later, he became a freelance journalist and after a period as a columnist at The Observer has been The Guardian's media commentator since 1996. His books on the trade include Press Gang: The True Story of How Papers Make Profits from Propaganda.
The Sunday Telegraph 1989-92;
The Daily Telegraph 1992-94
Moved to Argentina to launch El Periódico de Tucumán, and in 2004 was the director of Inside Time, the national publication for UK prisoners. He has written various books including One Dog and His Man about his relationship with his beloved Dalmatian, Beezle.
Sunday People 1991-92
Joined Today as a theatre and film critic until 1995. From 1996 to 2003, he wrote theatre reviews for various publications and has been a consultant to The Sun since 2004. He has been editing the quarterly publication British Journalism Review since 2002 and has been a media columnist for The Independent.
Sir Max Hastings
The Daily Telegraph 1986-95
He went to Associated Newspapers in 1996, where he edited the London Evening Standard until 2002. He still contributes weekly to the Daily Mail and The Guardian, and has written books on military history, including Warriors and Armageddon. Another, on the countryside, will be published later this year.
The Independent 1994-96
He left The Independent to edit the New Statesman until 1998. Since then, he has been a professor of journalism at the University of Wales and authored several trade tomes, including Journalism: Truth or Dare?.
News of the World 1987-88; Sunday People 1988-89
The first female editor on Fleet Street became editor-in-chief of The Globe in Florida between 1990 and 1993, and produced a current affairs television show before editing the weekend section of New York's Daily News. In 1997, she returned to London to the more unusual calling of press officer at Battersea Dogs Home.
The Sun 1994-98
After a year's break from the media, he set up PR outfit Stuart Higgins Communications. Big clients include Mick Jagger, Chelsea FC, and magazines Heat, Closer and Eve. Spent last year indulging his love of sport by working on Laurence Dallaglio's testimonial board, and is a director of the NSPCC and children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent.
The Mail on Sunday 1992-98
Headed to Tory party HQ with his £1m payoff, advising William Hague on how to renew the party's appeal to Middle England. From 2000 to 2002, he served on the Editorial Integrity Board of Express Newspapers. He is currently Tory party chairman in Michael Howard's constituency of Folkestone.
Daily Star 1987-94; Sunday Express 1994-95
Since 1996, he has been the chairman of Brian Hitchen Communications and has also been chairman of the Irish publishers Kerry Life and Irish Country Life.
The Observer 1996-98
Became editor-in-chief for a year, and is now a contributing editor and columnist. He is also chief executive of The Work Foundation, which seeks to improve the quality of working life. His many books on politics and economics include The State We're In and The World We're In.
Daily Express 1977-79; Daily Star 1978-80; News of the World 1981-84
Lost his savings in a failed libel action against the BBC, brought after Radio 4 dubbed him an "East end boy made bad". Ironically, it was the BBC who then rescued his career, giving him his own show on Radio 2. Rupert Murdoch then hired him again to present Jameson Tonight on Sky, making him the highest-paid figure in TV at the time. He lifted the lid on his harsh Hackney childhood in Touched by Angels and on life on Fleet Street in Last of the Hot Metal Men, and has now decamped to Florida.
The Observer 1995-96
Became publisher and managing director of The Big Issue for two years. He then launched Scotland's glossy Sunday Herald in 1999 before leaving for Australia last year, to become editor-in-chief of The Age
The Times 1990-92
Jenkins' first editing stint was at the London Evening Standard from 1976 to 1978. In 1979, he became The Economist's political editor, holding that job for seven years before becoming a Sunday Times columnist and books editor from 1988 to 1989. After editing The Times he became a long-serving columnist, but is jumping ship to The Guardian.
Financial Times 1991-2001
Now a member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee.
Sir Nicholas Lloyd
Sunday People 1982-83; News of the World 1984-85; Daily Express 1986-95
Presented LBC's breakfast show from 1997 to 1999. In 1996, he set up the international PR consultancy Brown Lloyd James, of which he is chairman.
The Sun 1981-94
Was a director of BSkyB for four years before moving to The Mirror Group as managing director in 1998. He then started his own media empire as chairman and chief executive of The Wireless Group plc, owners of TalkSport radio.
The Independent 1996-98
Following his departure from the editor's chair, Marr returned to political journalism, writing columns for The Observer and the Express. In 2000, he took on his current role as the BBC's political editor, successfully making the transition to broadcasting, and landing the Best Political Journalist award two years running and Best Individual TV Performer 2002. Marr last year published My Trade: A Short History of British Journalism, describing the industry through his own experiences. Also writes for The Daily Telegraph and presents BBC Radio 4's Start the Week.
The Times 1967-81
Since 1981, he has been the chairman of Pickering & Chatto publishers, and since 2000 the chairman of Newsmax Media Inc, an American media company best known for its right-wing online news site NewsMax.com.
Daily Mirror 1975-85; Sunday Mirror 1986-88
Now competes for the Harry Potter audience with his witch-themed fantasy novels.
News of the World 1985-87; Today 1987-91
Spent five years as director of Satellite Television plc and News Group Newspapers. From 1992 to 1999, he was chief executive of Mirror Group Newspapers, and since 2002 has been the chairman of Mecom UK Management, a European media investment company.
The SundayTelegraph 1992-95; The Daily Telegraph 1995-2003
Since 2004, he's been a columnist and consulting editor at The Daily Telegraph, whilst compiling his much-awaited biography of Baroness Thatcher.
News of the World 1994-95; Daily Mirror 1995-2004
After his fall from grace following publication of faked pictures of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by British troops, Morgan became a co-host of the Channel 4 political talk show Morgan and Platell, and lifted the lid on the glories of editing a national paper in The Insider earlier this year.
Sunday Express 1989-91
Moved to the Sunday Times magazine, becoming editor in 1992. He left briefly to be Reader's Digest's editorial director-designate, returning in 1995. He has been editing the Sunday Times magazine ever since, and is a contributing editor at GQ magazine.
Sunday Mirror 1992-94; Daily Mirror 1994-95
Took a career change, leading the new rugby-league marketing agency Super League Europe before being wooed back to the Sunday Mirror in 1998. He resigned in ignominy in 2001 after publishing an article that led to the collapse of the Leeds footballers' trial, at a reported cost of £8m. Myler's career was rescued shortly afterwards by Rupert Murdoch and he is now executive editor at the New York Post.
Sunday Times 1983-94
In 1994, he joined Fox News in New York before returning to the UK as a columnist for The Sunday Times and the Daily Mail in 1995 and 1996. Since 1996, he has been editor, then publisher of The Business, The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, the Edinburgh Evening News and, more recently, The Spectator. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and presenter of political television talk shows The Daily Politics and This Week.
Sir Geoffrey Owen
Financial Times 1981-90
Became director of the London School of Economics' business policy programme. He is now a senior fellow at LSE's inter-disciplinary Institute of Management.
Sunday Express 1998-99
Amanda Platell was the Sunday Mirror's acting editor from 1996 to 1997 before editing the Sunday Express. After two years as the Conservative Party's chief spin doctor, she returned to journalism and is now a columnist for the Daily Mail and the New Statesman, a regular broadcaster, and the host of a current-affairs TV chatshow, with Piers Morgan, since 2004.
Sunday Mirror 1988-91;
Sunday Express 1991-94
In 1999, she founded Wedding Day magazine. She is a regular commentator on women's issues for radio and television. She has co-written four chick-lit novels and has recently gone solo to write a fifth, with a political theme, for the American market.
The Independent on Sunday 1999-2001
Stepped down from her full-time position to become "editor-at-large". She has continued producing and presenting television programmes, and is well known for her love of rambling. In 2003, she wrote and starred in a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Festival, and in 2004 published a book about her childhood, Baggage. Last year, she tested her stamina in the "brain-rotting" show, I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here, lasting 17 days in the jungle.
The Guardian 1975-95
He spent a year as editor-in-chief of The Guardian and The Observer and two as editorial director of the Guardian Media Group, and still contributes regularly to both papers, in addition to writing novels including Bess and The Fifty-First State. Preston was chairman of the Association of British Editors from 1996 to 1999, and since 2000 has been governor of the British Association for Central and Eastern Europe.
Sunday Mirror 1991-92, People 1992-96
Managing director of the People and the Sunday Mirror from 1995 to 1998, before returning to edit the Sunday Mirror from 1997 to 1998. She was appointed the National Magazine Company's director of communications in 1998, but left a year later to become the content director of Yava, a public access internet company founded by David Montgomery, which closed in 2001. Last sighting was of Bridget selling T-shirts at a designer sale.
The Sun 1971-75, News of the World 1975-80
Launched The Mail on Sunday in 1980 and acted as a director of the paper from 1980 to 1982. He moved to the Daily Express as assistant editor (1983 to 1986), and then associate editor (1986 to 1996). He advised James Goldsmith's Referendum Party in the 1997 general election, and joined Press Gazette as a leader writer in 1999. He retired in 2002 but still contributes occasionally to the industry mag.
Sir Peter Stothard
The Times 1992-2002
After 10 years editing The Times, where he doubled the circulation to 700,000 and significantly expanded its size, Stothard became editor of the Times Literary Supplement.
Sunday People 1984 and 1990-91; Daily Mirror 1985-89 and 1991-92; Today 1993-95
Stuck with News International as a News of the World columnist from 1997 to 2000 before joining the Sunday Mirror as a political and current-affairs columnist.
The Observer 1975-93
Left when the paper was bought by The Guardian. He edited The Oldie for a year and presented a breakfast show on LBC. In 1994, he set up and, until 2000, led Sheffield University's department of journalism, and is now a visiting professor. He has written a sports column for The Daily Telegraph since 1993 and is chairman of the London Press Club and British Press Awards. He takes time out from living in Majorca and travelling the international lecture circuit to serve on the Advertising Standards Authority and to digest the newspapers on Sky.
Andreas Whittam Smith
The Independent 1986-94
After launching The Independent in 1986, Whittam Smith spent eight years as editor and also took over the sister paper The Independent on Sunday from 1991 to 1994. He remains a director of Independent News and Media (UK), and spent four years deciding which films should be X-rated in his role as president of the British Board of Film Classification. In 2002, he was appointed First Church Estates Commissioner, making him responsible for all church securities and property. He still contributes regularly to The Independent's comment pages.
The Times 1985-90
Spent eight years as managing director and editor-in-chief of Sporting Life. Between 1992 and 1998, he was also the managing director of Mirror Group plc and spent six months editing The Independent while a replacement for Ian Hargreaves was sought. Since 1998, he has worked as a media consultant. He is a director of the drug and alcohol charity Addaction, and was until recently chairman of the Government's Youth Justice Board. He also breeds racehorses.
The Independent on Sunday 1995-96
Left for the New Statesman alongside former Indy editor Ian Hargreaves. After a year as books editor, he replaced Hargreaves in the top job in 1998 and has edited the periodical ever since.
Sir Peregrine Worsthorne
The Sunday Telegraph 1986-89
Became The Telegraph's comment editor for two years before concentrating on writing. His memoirs, Tricks of Memory, were published in 1993, and In Defence of Aristocracy (2004) presents a controversial look at the origins and future of the aristocracy.
The Sun 1998-2003
David Yelland held on for five years at The Sun before going to work for News Corp in New York. Back in the UK, he has been senior vice-chairman of the PR agency Weber Shandwick UK and Ireland since last year.
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