My Mentor: Nick Ferrari on Lino Ferrari

I learnt so much from Dad. Priceless stuff - the sort of thing you'll never find in a textbook
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The Independent Online

My dad Lino - or Dan, as he was known in Fleet Street - set up Ferrari's news agency in Bexley after the Second World War before in 1959 joining the Daily Mirror where he stayed until his death in 1982, by which time he was the number three or four on the paper.

My dad Lino - or Dan, as he was known in Fleet Street - set up Ferrari's news agency in Bexley after the Second World War before in 1959 joining the Daily Mirror where he stayed until his death in 1982, by which time he was the number three or four on the paper.

He was a great storyteller and if we had friends around for dinner - Mirror greats like Ed Vale, Tom Merrin and Revel Barker - Dad would regale them all with the most brilliantly funny stories. And he made a point of letting us boys - I was the youngest of three - in on the conversations. So I grew up with journalistic lore.

By the age of six or seven I was dictating copy to the nationals and filing all these nibs or overnights he'd lined up for the Mirror or Express. My voice was so high some of the copytakers thought I was a girl!

By the time I was old enough to start work, though, Dad had sold the agency and gone to the Mirror - though I'd already learnt most of what I needed to know about the trade from him. He never really sat me down and told me how to write a story but if you're reading copy from the age of six, you see how stories are written - especially when you're filing stories written by the likes of Richard Stott and Kelvin MacKenzie.

I learnt so much from Dad. For instance, I'll always remember that if a story he was working on - during his agency days - needed a bit of a tickle to help it along a bit, he would often say - if there had been a murder - that the body was "in an attitude of prayer". This immediately excited all the national newsdesks who would call up asking what he meant; the upshot being that he would get an order out of them. Priceless stuff - the sort of thing you'll never find in a textbook.

In a way, doing what I do now is the same thing I was doing in my newspaper days but via a different medium. It's telling stories - though telling people what I think about things.

Nick Ferrari presents the breakfast show on LBC 97.3 from 7-10am, Mon- Fri

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