Media Society: Shouting in the Street: Adventures and Misadventures of a Fleet Street Survivor

30th Oct 2017

Monday 6 November, 6:30pm

Donald Trelford recalls his adventures and misadventures during nearly sixty years in journalism, in a special evening at The Groucho Club with media commentator Roy Greenslade.

Described as the ‘Rocky Marciano of newspaper politics’, he fought off politicians, owners and predators over his quarter-century at The Observer, including Rupert Murdoch, who said afterwards: ‘I made the mistake of underestimating Donald Trelford.’

One owner sold The Observer because Trelford refused to bow to pressure to support Margaret Thatcher. Another tried to sack him for writing the first report of atrocities committed by Robert Mugabe’s forces in Zimbabwe.

He tells for the first time the inside story of his complex relationship with Tiny Rowland – often tense, sometimes hilarious – and about his role in the notorious Pamella Bordes affair. He recalls how he was held at gunpoint by the FBI and strip-searched by the KGB. How a black dictator poked him in the chest and yelled: ‘Keep out of my politics, white man.’

While he was editor, The Observer won more press awards than any other newspaper. Trelford himself was described by Peter Preston, the former Guardian editor, as “a crusader… multi-talented, hands-on, a master of sport as well as news, shrewd and decisive.” Written with style and humour, this is a compelling account of an important period in the history of the British press.

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