Cartoon of the day


Brian Adcock


EXCLUSIVE: Lookalike

this lookalike

             Terry Manners                           Simon Russell Beale


Jonathan Pie has a word for Trump

BAD LANGUAGE ALERT: Do not play this video with children in the room

The night Jimmy Savile tried to get me into bed

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It is not just the world of showbiz that suffers from what is euphemistically called the casting couch, it happens in all walks of life, including newspapers. With the Harvey Weinstein affair dominating the headlines JEANETTE BISHOP recalls her distressing ordeal at the hands of Jimmy Savile when she worked at The People as a 21-year-old. #MeToo

Read her story here
Have you been sexually harassed in Fleet Street? Tell us your story at

Can you name these Expressmen?

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The Drone can, well we can name three of them. They were pictured at a redundancy party thrown by the Daily Express features subs at London's City Golf Club in, we think, 1985. The pictures were supplied by ELAINE CANHAM. Can you name them?
Find the answers and heaps more pictures here.

Kim Jong-un’s Korea change

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CHIPS ARE DOWN: The North Korean leader appears to serving in a fish and chip shop in Bilston, West Midlands

Today’s front pages




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Chris Riddell. Observer

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Ingram Pinn

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Dave Brown


Morten Morland


Brian Adcock


Patrick Blower

tragedy map




 © Carl Giles 1979

H M Bateman


Heath Robinson





Safety first

safety first




Morten Morland, The Times

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Guy Badeaux


Kal, The Economist

If, by Steve Bell, Guardian

if 1910
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bell if oct6


if oct45


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Hold Page 96! 

News you may have missed

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Potts of fun! TP Fielden’s new book is out soon

FORMER Hickey editor Christopher Wilson has been hard at work on his typewriter again (an upright Underwood, no doubt) to produce a sequel to his first Miss Dimont mystery,The Riviera Express.

Resort To Murder, written under his alias TP Fielden, is published on 2 November and once again delves into the world of 1950s local newspapers, with chief reporter Judy Dimont taking time out from the day job to solve a mystery or two in the company of ace snapper Terry Eagleton.

Christopher told the Drone yesterday: "Nobody called Shrimsley is murdered in this one; there's only a walk-on part for the dipso manservant called Lamb; but the wine waiter Potts is rushed off his feet when visiting Fleet Street staffers descend on Temple Regis to follow up a brace of killings. 

"Resort is the second in a series of five commissioned by HarperCollins, inspired by my days on Westminster Press weeklies long ago. 

"The Fleet Street boys always drop in for a drink in these books, but they're about local journalism.  RIP.

Lord Drone warmly recommends both books.

Preorder Resort to Murder and, if you haven’t already, buy The Riviera Express on Amazon HERE

Stop Thief!
Do you know this man?

mona lisa

FRAMED? Could this be star photographer Steve Wood furtively leaving the Louvre in Paris? Yes dear reader, it surely could


Desmond’s first tweet in 9 months (and a few replies from his ‘fans’)


Latest Eye

Classic Eye

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Trinity Mirror seals deal to buy Express and Star titles

Takeover will be the biggest shake-up in newspaper industry for more than 10 years

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A DEAL has been agreed in principle to sell Express Newspapers to Trinity Mirror, the Daily Drone understands.

Trustees of the Express pension scheme are involved in discussions about the sale, thought to be worth close to the £125million that Richard Desmond paid for the papers in 2000.

The agreement, which includes OK! and Northern & Shell’s other magazines New! and Star, is subject to the approval of Trinity Mirror shareholders and the Competition and Markets Authority. This is not expected to be a problem.

Trinity Mirror has made the move after a wider deal – led by former Mirror executive David Montgomery – to combine the back office and sales businesses of the two publishers failed after months of negotiations.

“Trinity Mirror notes that it is now in discussions to acquire 100 per cent of the publishing assets of Northern & Shell and that it has ceased discussions to acquire a minority stake in a new company comprising the publishing assets of Northern & Shell,” the company said.

The takeover will be the biggest deal to hit Fleet Street since the Barclay brothers bought the Daily Telegraph for £665million in 2004.

Trinity Mirror said the group had given undertakings there would be no editorial interference, although how this will go down with Mirror shareholders is anyone’s guess.

PENSIONS UPDATE Trustees of  the Express 1988 Pension Fund met Express management on 13th September, no decisions were made and discussions continue. There is however little cause for concern. Richard Desmond has been putting £10million a year into the scheme which is 90 per cent funded and in a strong position. If the payments continue at the current rate the deficit will be cleared by 2022.

Roy Greenslade has his doubts

Be careful what you wish for

Uncomfortable bed fellows, says Peter Preston

Barking up the wrong tree, green plan for Fleet 


PASS THE SMELLING SALTS DAPHNE: This extraordinary scene is the vision of Fleet Street by a group of smart-arse so-called landscape experts who believe that our beloved Street could be turned into a green boulevard ‘as car use declines’. Declining car use? What planet do they inhabit, have they looked out of the window lately? Well I mean, chaps, honestly…
Boulevard of broken dreams

Now everyone can stay at the House of Beaverbook

(If you have the cash)

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Beaverbrook at his country home, Cherkley Court, in 1940

In its day Cherkley Court, Lord Beaverbook’s country house in the Surrey hills near Leatherhead, was only open to the rich and famous. Now it has opened as a hotel and is open to all, provided you are happy to stump up £330 for a double room.

Writers from the Sunday Times and the Financial Times suffered no such restraints as they were given freebies. (Remember them?)

Read their reports …

Cherkley, a hotel fit for a press baron

Beaverbrook, hottest new country hotel

Who was the expenses king?

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Maurice Chittenden, pictured, as revealed in the Times Diary, certainly knew how to claim expenses. But was he the champ? Our nomination would go to the late Norman Luck of the Daily Express. 

The editor can recall the evening in 1978 that Derek Jameson, one of the best Daily Express editors post-Christiansen, took all the sub-editors and their wives out for a private screening of the film Grease followed by dinner.

At the end of the meal Jameson summoned the maitre d and asked him for a pile of meal receipts. These were distributed to the subs with the guarantee that they would all be signed by the managing editor.

Obviously this was a lottery as the receipt amounts differed, some subs hit the jackpot while others got less but everyone did well.

We are asked for readers’ views on the matter. Here are two:

Former DX foreign editor DAVID RICHARDSON reports: 

It was my second week on the Express in Manchester in 1968 and exes day.

I had only been out of the office once the previous week, and even then had grabbed a lift to a job in Bolton with a snapper.

In my previous life on the Newcastle Evening Chronicle I was used to about 10/6p a week exes so I anguished for what seemed like hours before submitting a £12 demand to the newsdesk.

Within minutes I was summoned by News Editor Bob Blake who told me: "Do you want to ruin it for all of us? Go and see Norman.”

Within minutes Me Norm had raised to sum to £25 (£10 less than my gross weekly salary) and Mr Blake was happy.

However, the best exes claim I ever saw was from MX snapper George Birch who successfully claimed £10 for “a length of old rope”.

ANONYMOUS recalls: I well remember a newly-appointed Jameson inviting subeditors and mouse racers to lunch in the boardroom.

One of our number, who must also be anonymous, had had little sleep but decided a few pints of Young’s would make a good breakfast aperitif followed by some stiff G&Ts when he got to the boardroom followed by some glasses of fine claret.

Suffice to say, when the main course arrived, his head literally slumped into the steaming boeuf bourguignon nose first.

Jameson, to his great credit, ignored this and carried on the lively banter.

Incidentally, D Richardson misses a trick when he recounts the 'length of rope' exes claim. 

What happened was that an Expressman’s car became stuck in an Irish bog. He asked a local farmer to pull him out with a tractor. Alas, the rope broke. The farmer then got another length and pulled him out.

Thus, the immortal exes item: “Money for old rope: £10” True story.

DAVID ELIADES also went on the subs trip to see Grease, He remembers it this way:

Being Night Foreign Editor at the time I was invited with my wife to these subs outings. On the night in question Jameson held up the bill he had just paid for us all and said it was for his own exes. I piped up and asked “Why can’t you get a receipt for the rest of us? .

He nodded and went out of the room where we’d been eating. He returned a minute or so later with a spike full of receipts. He handed one to each of the staffers and said: ‘Now, don’t all put them in at once.”

The bills had various totals. The one I got happened to get was a few pounds more than I paid. But I know a couple of others got bills considerably smaller than they actually paid.

But the funniest thing of the evening was what I was told by our Parliamentary Reporter, Paul Potts, the next day.  Jameson had been in the House of Commons the previous afternoon and when he took his leave, he said to the MPs be’d been talking to: “Sorry, chaps, I can’t stay any longer, but I’ve got to dash to Grease.”

When he had left the MPs said to Potts. “Is he always dashing off around the world like that?  Tonight it’s Greece …. tomorrow, where else is he off to?”

CHRISTOPHER WILSON, (who incidentally will have a new book out shortly) reports: Walter Partington, later parly corr, covered the Biafra war. His expenses sheet read: "To purchase of native hut, £10.”  He also gave a native girl some money and told her, "There, go and buy yourself a hut."

Can you beat this story of unbridled largesse? We bet you can. Email the editor at with your story.

*Maurice Chittenden’s book EXCLUSIVE: The Last Days of Fleet Street, My Part In Its Downfall is available HERE

One in the Eye

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No 103

Volume 15: 1986

THE history of the Daily and Sunday Express as told 30 years ago through the columns of Private Eye (Lord Drone does not necessarily agree with the sentiments expressed although, from memory, they seem reasonably accurate.) 

New readers: The Eye referred to the Express as the Getsworse, the Getsmuchworse, or the Getsevenworse or sometimes even worse than that.

UPDATED 19th September, 2017

2nd May 1986

Street of Shame

DESPITE the pleadings of Roy Hattersley to replace Keith Waterhouse as the Mirror’s columnist, Robert Maxwell has personally selected someone else for this crucial position.

He is none other than George G Ale, Thatcher-lover extraordinaire, lifelong Tory and £100,000 redundee from the Daily Getsworse.

This is a return to pastures old for Ale. Prior to Waterhouse he was the Mirror’s columnist for a disastrous 12 months. After years of oblivion as a gravelly-voiced radio phone-in host, he was brought back to the Street of Shame by Lord Matthews as the Getsworse leader writer.

Ale subsequently resigned from this post after Fingers refused to print an editorial of his in adulation of Mrs Thatcher. Since then his task has been to fill a weekly page which has earned him the nickname of Attila the Columnist.

With a background like this Ale will have no trouble slotting into the Maxwell Mirror.


EDDY Shah has demanded a high standard of technical competence from his staff on Today, though some of his appointments were as blurred as his colour printing.

He has continued to introduce some of the most advanced equipment known to modern science. The latest was a coffee percolator for use by the editorial staff.

On the first day of its installation it was carefully filled by brilliant chief sub-editor Simon Crookshank. Unfortunately, Crookshank’s skill was not sufficient to cope with this.

It blew the plant’s whole system and Shah lost an entire edition.


30th May, 1986

Street of Shame

Our recent prediction that United Newspapers’ horrible sleaze-meister-in-chief Roger Boyes had downmarket designs on the stately, decent Sunday Express are likely to be confirmed soon. Editor Sir Jonah Junor has been persuaded to stand down next month, and Boyes is conducting the search for his successor. Jonah’s choices have included book critic Graham Lord and the ectomorphic Henry Macrory, whose chief qualification as a Sunday Expressman was that his diplomat father, Sir Patrick Macrory, was a Walton Heath member prepared to play golf with Auchtermuchty’s most irascible son.

Sir Jonah would be happy with either of the two, confident – perhaps wrongly in the case of Lord – that he could continue to exert power from his position as curmudgeon-columnist. But his biggest fear is that the ghastly, naff Boyes only interviewed Macrory and Lord for appearance's sake, and befriended while at the Daily Mirror someone in the mould of his Daily Express choice ‘Nick’ Lloyd.

Jonah has almost fulfilled the expectations of those colleagues closest to him over the years – that he would rather destroy the Sunday Express entirely than give up his power. Even after making an estimated £500,000 from buying Fleet Holdings shares when they were 20p, staying as editor well past retirement age, ensuring that his own column was the only sought-after one on the paper, Sir Jonah lingers on while Boyes and his half-witted chairman, David Stevens, plan to do for the Sunday Express what they have already done to the battered Daily Getsworse.

*Robin Esser eventually took over from Junor as Sunday Express editor in 1986. Macrory was appointed deputy editor and later became head of press to Prime Minister David Cameron – Ed

27th June 1986

Street of Shame

Peter McKay’s move to become editor of Eddy Shah’s Sunday Today has been welcomed cautiously by his old mentor, Sunday Express editor Sir John Junor.

Sir Jonah told McHackey on many occasions that he was just the man for the tiller of the Sunday Express. He would encourage the bibulous Scottish scribbler to write to the Express owners and apply for the job.

‘Should I mention your name, John?’ McHackey once asked Sir Jonah.

‘No, no laddie, that would be counter-productive at this stage,’ replied the cunning denizen of Auchtermuchty, who never had the slightest intention of yielding his throne to McHackey or anyone else.

The move to Shah Towers in Vauxhall Bridge Road comes at a sad time for McHackey. He has finally fallen out for the last time with his Street of Shame chum of nearly 20 years, Nigel Pratt-Dumpster.

It was Pratt-Dumpster who went to McHackey’s last editor, Mail On Sunday supremo Stewart Steven, and informed him that the cigar-chomping Lothario had helped to compose the Eye's Sir Jonah column in which Steven was advised to seek employment as chief rodent operative in the sewers of Tel Aviv.

11th July 1986

Street of Shame

Shuffling, cigar-chomping Ron ‘Badger’ Hall has emerged as favourite to edit the Sunday Express after interviews with two other no-hoper candidates – the Getsworse’s features editor Alan Frame and the Daily Mail’s Nick Gordon.

Jonah feels sympathy for the weary Badger, who has been labouring at the Sunday Express’s piss-poor colour magazine since the departure of Charles ‘Pasty-Face’ Wintour and his flame-haired moll Audrey Slaughter.

Frame is a bearded hack who presides over some of the worst features in Fleet Street at the Getsworse while the rodent-like Gordon is best known for filling the Daily Mail with undistinguished showbiz articles.

Jonah is saying he wants to retire from the column and the paper. He cannot stand Roger Boyes, the useless chief executive from the Daily Mirror whose dream is a sleazy, tabloid Sunday Express.

Bowes has power over United Newspapers chairman David Stevens because Stevens is a money man who knows nothing about newspapers. Together they are a downmarket version of another disastrous Getsworse partnership – that of Sir Max ‘Biggles’ Aitken and Jocelyn ‘Piranha Teeth’ Stevens. Even Piranha now sympathises with his old foe, Sir Jonah, and has offered to arrange a grand retirement banquet for Auchtermuchty’s most famous son.

















ONE IN THE EYE 1966-1971



It's David ‘Showbiz’ Wigg in oils!


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A chance meeting in a London cafe resulted in this painting of former Daily Express showbusiness reporter David Wigg appearing at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

David’s appearance fascinated the artist Sopio Chkhikvadze. She asked him to pose for a portrait which is now hanging in the BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition at the gallery.

Ms Chkhikvadze studied at Tbilisi Nicoladze Art College, Georgia and Tbilisi State Academy of Art.

Buy a print



The Beaver’s 75th birthday 

Express1 (1)


Hoss of Sky News loses it on air

OOPS! Jon Craig, who was known as Hoss to his colleagues on the Daily and Sunday Express, has a bad day at the office

Jonathan Pie’s advice for Mrs May

… here’s one he made earlier

Dan and Dan


Bec Hill translates Piaf


Towering changes at Blackfriars

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There have been huge changes on the south side of Blackfriars Bridge in London since Express Newspapers vacated Ludgate House in 2004. In this view, seen from Blackfriars Road looking north towards the bridge on 9th June 2017, Ludgate House can be seen behind the bus stop. 

Opposite Ludgate House is the 170-metre high One Blackfriars skyscraper, still under construction and in the right foreground is the new headquarters of United Business Media, former owners of Express Newspapers.

Ludgate House is now boarded up ready for demolition in preparation for the huge Bankside Quarter redevelopment between the old Express HQ and the Tate Modern.



Who put the lights out?


NOTHING stopped the Daily Express in 1972, not even the miners’ strike. It was the year of constant power cuts instigated by Prime Minister Edward Heath to cope with the lack of coal to fuel the power stations. And as the clock hit 4.14 on a winter's afternoon the Express news sub-editors slaved away by gaslight. Lord Drone recalls that the gas lamps on the ceiling were still there when the Fleet Street office was vacated in 1989. 
Who’s in the picture? We put a few names to faces HERE


Farewell to Fleet Street

Fleet Street was full of journalists for the first time in many years when the London Press Club held a long lunch to mark the departure of the last newspaper from the Street of Broken Dreams. Watch the YouTube video of the event above and read the Guardian report


Only on DroneTube

Life After The Front Page

This rare and previously largely unseen film, unearthed in the annals of Lord Drone, recalls the grand old days of Fleet Street. It includes interviews with Ann Buchanan, of The Sun and Daily Mirror; Clem Jones, from the Wolverhampton Express; Eric Todd of the Manchester Evening Chronicle and The Guardian; and George Bell and Ted Townshend of the Daily Telegraph. 

The film, which was made by students of Goldsmiths College, University of London, in 1999, also includes someone called Alastair McIntyre (who he – Ed?) who addresses the public from the Daily Express offices in Blackfriars. 

Runtime is 16 minutes.


ONLY on DroneTube

The Crusader Years 1900-1990

Only in the Drone: This video was supplied to Express staff in 1990 and is now published on the web for the first time. 


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© 2005-2017 Alastair McIntyre