Victoria Newton: My Life In Media
Monday 12 September 2005
What inspired you to start a career in the media?
As a teenager I was obsessed with current affairs and politics and an avid reader of newspapers. While I was studying for my degree, I worked on the student paper and wrote to every national newspaper begging for a job.
When you were 15 years old, what was the family newspaper and did you read it?
My parents always got The Guardian so I read that, and also the Daily Mirror because my dad liked their football coverage. I automatically turned to Rick Sky's showbiz gossip column.
And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?
I don't think I ever missed an episode of Top of the Pops and I loved Spitting Image. I seem to remember bunking off lessons to watch Scott and Charlene in Neighbours because it was on during the daytime then. I always listened to the Radio 1 breakfast show.
What media do you turn to first thing in the morning?
I read The Sun first to check what has changed in later editions overnight. Sometimes I will have changed my column to include pictures or stories from a film premiere or a party.
Do you consult any media sources during the working day?
It's my job to keep on top of what is going on in the showbiz world throughout the day and night, so I'm constantly reading the wires, checking out what's going on in LA and New York. I monitor all the showbiz gossip websites and read as many magazines as possible. The Drudge Report [a news website] is a must, too.
What's the best thing about your job?
When I first started on the showbiz beat, I couldn't believe that I could go to the best parties, drink free champagne and mingle with A-list celebrities. Ten years later, I still can't believe it. And the really great thing now I edit Bizarre is that if any of them behave like idiots, my revenge is very swift, and very public.
And the worst?
Coming into the office the next day when you've been out until 4am stalking celebrities. You can't come in late with a hangover from all the free booze and get away with it.
What is the proudest achievement in your working life?
My proudest achievement was getting my hands on Bizarre. It was always my dream job, and I feel privileged to be editing Britain's No 1 showbiz column. You only have to look at some of the brilliantly talented journalists who have edited Bizarre - Piers Morgan, Andy Coulson and Dominic Mohan in particular.
And your most embarrassing moment?
Falling down the stairs in front of Madonna and Guy Ritchie at a party. It was the exclusive launch of her album Music at a club in Los Angeles, and it was packed with celebrities. Gwen Stefani was there, as were Jason Statham and Kelly Brook. Vinnie Jones had to help me up from the bottom of the stairs. Nothing to do with the free champagne, of course - all to do with the high heels.
At home, what do you tune in to?
I'm hardly ever in during the week to watch much TV as I'm out at parties and clubs, or meeting contacts at restaurants looking for stories. I watch as many Liverpool matches as I can, watch the news on all channels and as much reality TV as I can bear so I can keep up to date with the people I write about.
What is your Sunday paper and do you have a favourite magazine?
The News of the World is my Sunday paper of choice - it's a must-read. I usually turn to Glamour magazine, purely to find out what I should be wearing.
Who in the media do you most admire and why?
It would take up too many column inches to go through them all. But at The Sun I believe I am working with the most talented journalists in the business.
Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire.
I'd like to break the story that John Lennon is, in fact, alive and well - and to get the first interview.
If you didn't work in the media, what would you do?
I'm obsessed with the media and couldn't imagine life without being involved in the industry (apart from being the first female manager of Liverpool football club).
1993 Arrives on Fleet Street as a graduate trainee with the Daily Express.
1995 Begins the showbiz beat at The People.
1998 Edits The Sun's Bizarre pages together with Dominic Mohan, before becoming the paper's LA correspondent in 1999, where she breaks the story of Catherine Zeta-Jones's pregnancy.
2002 Becomes the Daily Mail's showbiz editor.
2003 Gets back the editorship of Bizarre as well as the title of assistant editor (showbiz) across the whole paper.
2005 Breaks the story that Live8 was to take place in London's Hyde Park.
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