YESTEDAY A FORMER NEWS OF THE WORLD COLLEAGUE FROM LONDON COMMENTED ON THE BLOG.
Many readers will not realise that I spent eleven years as their Irish Columnist.
I had my own page in the Irish edition to write what I wished. No one in the newspaper ever told me what I could write and what I could not write.
Obviously the NOW lawyers in Lobdon vetted everything from everyone for libel. But the great thing about the NOW was that, like myself, it was basically anti establishment.
When I wrotev A THORN IN THE SIDE in 1994 and it became an Irish Number One bestseller, the NOW, serialised it over two Sundays.
That serialisation went down well and they offered me a permanent spot.
As Daly had cut off all my church income the NOW income played a major role in my financial survival.
Naturally, that income was fully reported to the tax man as part of my self employment tax returns.
I also found and worked on many other stories with the NOW chef de bureau and the other journalists based in Dublin.
We did many early RCC exposures in Ireland.
THE FUN SIDE
There were many fun aspects to my involvement – the Christmas parties in Dublin and in Fleet Street in London.
Cartoon artists were on hand for all the parties.
The London Christmas parties started at 11 am with a pub crawls down one side of Fleet Street and up the other side.
I have never liked getting drunk and it has not happened me much. There was no way I could up with the seasoned Fleet Street hacks. So I drank some and left much sitting on the table.
THE TORY AND LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCES
For those eleven years the NOW brought me to all the autumn party conferences.
It was very interesting to meet with and chat with senior British politicians like Mo Mowlam, Gordon Rown. Michael Heseltine, Kenneth Clarke etc.
Not many get to see these things from the inside.
AND THEN THE INFAMOUS PHONE TAPPING
The oldest and biggest selling newspaper, the NEWS OF THE WORLD collapsed and closed over the phone tapping of the phones of celebrities and others.
In a shock call one morning from SCOTLAND YARD I learned that my phone was one of those that had been tapped.
All the celebs involved all took personal cases against the NOW.
I was one of 300 “small fry” who got a court agreed sum in compensation.
ALL IN ALL
My experience in and through the NOW was very varied and interesting.
AND – a good preparation for writing this blog.