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Off the hook and into the gutter

Ian Aitken, 7 December 1989

Sunrise: The Remarkable Rise and Rise of the Best-Selling Soaraway ‘Sun’ 
by Larry Lamb.
Macmillan, 260 pp., £7.99, November 1989, 0 333 51070 4
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... of the IPC broadsheet. The Murdoch Sun, a tabloid, rose on Monday, 17 November. Nothing, as Sir Larry Lamb’s cliché-riddled account repeatedly tells us, was ever going to be the same in Fleet Street again. The richest irony, however, was that Cudlipp and the Daily Mirror only shot themselves in the foot. In the long run, it was the London print ...

Born of the age we live in

John Lanchester, 6 December 1990

Stick it up your punter! The Rise and Fall of the ‘Sun’ 
by Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie.
Heinemann, 372 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 434 12624 1
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All played out: The True Story of Italia ’90 
by Pete Davies.
Heinemann, 471 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 434 17908 6
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Gazza! A Biography 
by Robin McGibbon.
Penguin, 204 pp., £3.99, October 1990, 9780140148688
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... will not find it easy to ignore. Murdoch appointed as editor of the Sun Sir (as he then wasn’t) Larry Lamb, the Yorkshire-born Northern Editor of the Daily Mail. Between them Lamb and Murdoch devised a newspaper which filled the gap created by what they saw as the increasingly stuffy and out-of-touch nature of the ...

‘The Sun Says’

Paul Laity, 20 June 1996

... It’s well-known that when Murdoch relaunched the Sun he was, in the words of the former editor Larry Lamb, ‘obsessed’, sometimes ‘to an alarming degree’, with ‘what he chose to call the “English” class system’. (The knighted Lamb began to insist on being addressed as ‘Sir ...

William Rodgers reads the papers

William Rodgers, 19 February 1987

The Market for Glory: Fleet Street Ownership in the 20th Century 
by Simon Jenkins.
Faber, 247 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 571 14627 9
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The End of the Street 
by Linda Melvern.
Methuen, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 413 14640 5
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... like John Junor of the Sunday Express, have been long-lasting. Others, like his fellow knights Larry Lamb and David English, have been successful after their fashion, Lamb with the Sun and English with the Daily Mail. English (also a survivor) deserves credit for making his newspaper professional and ...

Bravo l’artiste

John Lanchester: What is Murdoch after?, 5 February 2004

The Murdoch Archipelago 
by Bruce Page.
Simon and Schuster, 580 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 7432 3936 9
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Rupert Murdoch: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Media Wizard 
by Neil Chenoweth.
Crown Business, 416 pp., $27.50, December 2002, 0 609 61038 4
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Autumn of the Moguls: My Misadventures with the Titans, Poseurs and Money Guys who Mastered and Messed up Big Media 
by Michael Wolff.
Flamingo, 381 pp., £18.99, January 2004, 0 00 717881 6
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... start a daily paper to accompany it, in order that the presses would not lie idle during the week. Larry Lamb, the Sun’s first editor, essentially stole the tabloid format of the Mirror, coarsened it slightly, and left out the would-be informative but muddling and tonally uncertain Mirrorscope. The result was that the Sun ate the Mirror’s lunch, and ...

Light Entertainment

Andrew O’Hagan: Our Paedophile Culture, 8 November 2012

... person: Derek McCulloch, ‘Uncle Mac’, the man in charge of Children’s Hour, and the voice of Larry the Lamb in Toytown. A veteran of the Somme who lost an eye there, McCulloch lost his left leg in a motor accident in the 1930s. He was famous at the BBC for nearly forty years and can still be heard in the archives ...

Get rid of time and everything’s dancing

Patrick McGuinness: Kray Sisters et al, 5 October 2000

The World's Wife 
by Carol Ann Duffy.
Picador, 76 pp., £6.99, September 2000, 9780330372220
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Her Book: Poems 1988-98 
by Jo Shapcott.
Faber, 125 pp., £8.99, October 1999, 0 571 20183 0
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Zero Gravity 
by Gwyneth Lewis.
Bloodaxe, 80 pp., £6.95, June 1998, 1 85224 456 9
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... the ancient world in a trail of orphans and widows: Put out a paw to dab a stone, an ant, a dead lamb. Life, my life, is all play even up to the moment when I’m tripped up, thrown down, bound, raped until I bleed from my eyes, beaten out of shape and forced to bring forth War. The women in Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife don’t need to wait for ...

Pigs, Pre-Roasted

Erin Maglaque: Lazy-delicious-land, 16 December 2021

Antwerp: The Glory Years 
by Michael Pye.
Allen Lane, 271 pp., £25, August 2021, 978 0 241 24321 3
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... with names like De Ribbe (the Rib) or De Ijseren Verckens (the Iron Pigs), Dlammeken (the Little Lamb) or ’t Ossenhooft (the Ox Head).In the Middle Ages, Antwerp had been a quiet regional town, with a small river port and two trade fairs a year. The butchers’ trade was heavily protected and they easily met the demands of the city’s population. But when ...

I only want the OM

Christopher Tayler: Somerset Maugham, 1 September 2005

Somerset Maugham: A Life 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Vintage, 411 pp., £12, April 2005, 1 4000 3052 8
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... disliked him, and Meyers does too.) Fortified – or so he hoped – by regular injections of lamb-foetus serum at a sinister clinic in Switzerland, Maugham played bridge with Eisenhower and lunched with Churchill. He set up the Somerset Maugham Award and lavished funds on his old school – the wily headmaster had ensnared him by mentioning Hugh ...


Ian Penman: Elvis looks for meaning, 25 September 2014

Elvis Has Left the Building: The Day the King Died 
by Dylan Jones.
Duckworth, 307 pp., £16.99, July 2014, 978 0 7156 4856 8
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Elvis Presley: A Southern Life 
by Joel Williamson.
Oxford, 384 pp., £25, November 2014, 978 0 19 986317 4
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... of prescription ups and downs, Elvis Presley finally broke down. He poured out his troubles to Larry Geller, celebrity hair stylist and, lately, something of a spirit guide for Elvis. Geller had given him a mind-expanding reading list of what we would now recognise as New Age self-help books. Elvis had read them all, performed all the meditations, but ...

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