Media families: 16. The Lee-Potters

Jeremy Lee-Potter (doctor) married Lynda (columnist) and begat Emma (journalist and novelist), Charlie (radio presenter) and Adam (reporter)

"The First Lady of Fleet Street" is OK with Lynda Lee-Potter. "The Voice of Middle England" is not. "I don't even know what that means," she squeals. "It's a lazy, sloppy description of anyone."

Lynda Lee-Potter celebrated her 30th anniversary at the Daily Mail last month with a lavish party thrown for her at the Savoy by her editor Paul Dacre and proprietor Lord Rothermere - although the Europhile Lord rather upstaged his star columnist by using the occasion to announce his decision to join the Labour benches in the Lords.

Even though the anniversary should probably have focused her memories of joining the Mail, Mrs Lee-Potter is vague about how she made the switch from unknown actress to journalist. "I don't quite know. Someone asked me to write something and it happened imperceptibly."

Within five years of this ordination she was asked by editor David English to take over the column of a previous First Lady of Fleet Street, Jean Rook, who had defected to the Express.

"I was told by a friend you can only write a column for two years, but I seem to have hung on for 25. I can only write it by being honest and true to my own opinions. People aren't idiots: if you foist an opinion on them that you don't believe yourself they will know."

Despite her claims, much of Mrs Lee-Potter's style seems informed by the waspish views of the Tory housewives in the shires. She dislikes single mothers, she dislikes political correctness. She dislikes Fergie and indeed much of her criticism is of other women. "I never worry about hurting people's feelings," she says. "If you have that anxiety you really shouldn't be doing this job."

In 1957 Lynda Higginson, as she then was, married up-and-coming doctor Jeremy Lee-Potter, son of an air marshal. Dr Lee-Potter became a media star himself thanks to his job as chairman of the council of the BMA at the time of the government's first wave of health reforms. He picked up even more headlines when he took early retirement in 1995 in protest against Conservative health policies. He has just published a book denouncing the effects of the Conservatives' NHS reforms.

Dr Potter comes from a long line of doctors but his wife's genes must have proved stronger. All three of their children have ended up journalists, but the queen bee of High Street Ken dismisses any charge of nepotism: "I have never picked up the phone to get any of them a job. I think it is just that they grew up in a household where their mother was in the business. Simple as that."

Most high-profile of her progeny is Charlie Lee-Potter, 37, currently a presenter on Radio 4's PM evening news programme. She hit the headlines during the election by skewering Michael Heseltine when he showed his ignorance of John Major's offer of a free vote to MPs on a single currency. Big sister Emma, 39, was a journalist on the Evening Standard, the Sunday Express and Today until she left to have two children and write a novel about journalism with the unfortunate title Hard Copy.

Adam Lee-Potter, 29, has been a news reporter in the Manchester office of The Sun for the last two years. Adam put in his time on the Newcastle Journal, neatly proving his mother's point about nepotism. Indeed, considering some of the things Lynda Lee-Potter has said about some people, it might be considered more surprising that her offspring managed to get jobs at all.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Financial Controller

£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Marketing Manager / Product Owner

COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product Owner is required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Advisor

£13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A chance to work for an extreme...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager - Media Sales - £36,000 OTE

£28000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'