Leak betrays queen's speech with a difference: David Lister examines a Christmas message for the nation that has made Channel 4 executives launch an inquiry
A founder member of The Independent David Lister joined the paper in 1986 as Assistant Home Editor. He became the paper's arts correspondent in 1988 and is now Arts Editor and writes a column each Saturday. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Thursday 23 December 1993
Following the leak to the Sun of the Queen's Christmas message last year, media anxiety was heightening that the government might strengthen press sanctions in its forthcoming White Paper.
When news of the leak broke at 5pm, senior executives at Channel 4 were fetched from their lunches at various restaurants in Charlotte Street, central London
The Alternative Queen's Speech to be delivered on Channel 4 on Christmas Day by the gay writer and humourist Quentin Crisp is couched in diplomatic terms but has a vicious subtextual attack on young people and women. It ends with a call on all Britons to emigrate to the United States.
One insider at Channel 4 said the Christmas spirit had been utterly destroyed. Party games involving golden handcuffs had been cancelled, and the culprit when found would be seconded to promoting the channel's season on Polish cinema.
Michael Grade, Channel 4's chief executive, commented tersely: 'I've ordered an immediate inquiry into how an advance copy of the speech left the building. When we commissioned Quentin Crisp's broadcast to match the style and transmission time of the Queen's speech, the last thing we foresaw copying was last year's security lapse.'
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...