My favourite website of the moment remembers a long forgotten media age and celebrates the memory of a breed of journalism that seems to have vanished.
The website is thegentlemenranters.com and it features splendid stories and reminiscences about such legends as the late Peter Batt and Leo Clancy, both of whom died recently.
Clancy was an exceptional man: his persuasive skills were so good that, even drunk, he managed to persuade a policeman that the barricades he’d just crashed into were the real threat to the public. He made his name at the Daily Mail but moved to the National Enquirer – which didn’t fit his temperament, so he absconded to South America with two friends and company credit cards, in lieu of severance pay, for a series of hair raising adventures. Click here to read more.
I started my career when these men walked the earth and Fleet Street was littered with the sort of prowling hounds that ate kids like me for breakfast. Things change, things move on, but sometimes there’s a shiver, a splinter of nostalgia and regret that such freewheeling craziness and brilliance is unlikely to happen again in my lifetime.