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News of the World: The End

When the phone-hacking allegations piled up and eventually took down the News of the World, I was there to witness it all. Here is my story, from diary extracts during the last week of the newspaper, as published on Channel 4 News this week:

London's Big Freeze

Much of LONDON was brought to a standstill today by the heaviest snowfall of the winter. With most of Britain covered in white stuff, the country is set to freeze overnight as temperatures plummet to a chilly -6C. On the other side of the globe, SYDNEY sizzled as it endured its hottest day ever. Records were smashed across the city with the mercury hitting 45.8C. Click below and spot the difference…

Callaway Razr X

The call came in 9.43am. “They’ve arrived,” said the man with a gravel voice. And indeed they had. The packaging left little to the imagination. No bells, buckles or bows. Just 100% recyclable cardboard wrapped securely with industrial strength masking tape. My fingers tingled with excitable anticipation as I tore gently at the tape to little effect. It took kitchen scissors, three subtle moves and less than sixty seconds for the packaging… Read More

Dome is where the heart is

You’re flying back from your summer hols, that last leg of a tedious long-haul flight, bored, restless and generally yearning for solid ground beneath your feet. Suddenly the clouds part and you catch a first glimpse of Blighty. It’s only been two weeks, but how you’ve missed it … You strain your eyes through the fingerprint-smeared window. Hello, is that London in the distance? Yes, I believe it is. A warm feeling of… Read More

Hayley Barlow

  Gorkana caught up recently with News of the World’s former head of PR Hayley Barlow to find out what her 12 year long reign entailed, what she did next after the paper closed, and her part in the attempted rescue of ‘Wally’ the Thames whale in January 2006. Firstly Prince Harry, would the News of the World have published those pictures? Undoubtedly yes, if the story had broken in our time…. Read More

Goodbye London 2012

Sunday nights don’t come much better than this … an extravaganza of flames in London’s Olympic Stadium bringing down the curtain on a month of thrilling competition. From my seat up in the Gods with 80,000 grateful fans, a positively mind-blowing experience watching Coldplay and Rihanna rocking to a sensational summer of sport alongside Mad Max characters and a colourful parade of nations. What a fitting end to an extraordinary Games, a… Read More

Hayley's Choice

So the big question is … with so much choice out there, where does one even begin the process of purchasing a new set of irons? It struck me during a recent round of golf, my cherished Titleist irons are nearing 13 years old. And whilst they still produce rare moments of brilliance, the time has finally come, albeit reluctantly, to put them out to pasture and splash out on a shiny… Read More

Olympic Rings

Team Zimbabwe touch down at Gatwick today in anticipation of “the greatest show on earth” in twelve days time. Led by swimming sensation Kirsty Coventry as she spearheads the nation’s Olympics medal hunt with a small contingent of seven fine athletes including marathon runners, rowers and a triathlete. But as the excitement mounts, a misguided crackdown to protect sponsors’ exclusive rights has sparked a feverous debate and the branding police are taking no… Read More

Final Countdown

Enough has been written about the demise of the News of the World to fill several volumes of War and Peace many times over. It is one year ago today a brilliant News of the World team put our beloved newspaper to bed for one last historic time after 168 years, 8674 editions, bidding a final goodbye to 7.5 million loyal readers. The footage below gives an insight into those final moments… Read More

Majors

Hearty congratulations to my golfing chum Paul Trow … or Gwyneth as he’s fondly known. Paul is editor of the brilliant new glossy magazine ‘Arnold Palmer’s Guide to the 2012 Majors’. Majors celebrate and honour what the four special championships have become. Their origins, great players past and present whose careers have been shaped by them, and the marvelous courses that provide the stages for these most theatrical of contests.

Walton Heath

Round 1 : Walton Heath Golf Club One of the world’s most famous and prestigious heathland courses. The history of the club is exceptional. The weather was not! Our very British drought met monsoon conditions and record rainfall as I waded through heather waste deep in denial. My foursomes partner standing beside this green-side bunker spoke for us all when he said: “Time to end the hosepipe ban chaps. Please.”

Long Live The Queen

The whole country has gone positively Lady Gaga for our enigmatic monarch. Strolling home from the office with my camera, one could sense a palpable building of anticipation and excitement in the air. This weekend’s bumper Jubilee festivities are a showcase of events that reflect the public mood, a national fervour that fits all tastes and budgets, if you will. The flag-waving jollity, bunting strewn skyline and streets ablaze with colour, chart Britons shared… Read More

Rupert Murdoch swearing an oath at the Leveson Inquiry

I worked at the News of the World for over a decade and lost my job with almost 300 others when Rupert Murdoch closed down the newspaper at the height of the phone-hacking scandal in July 2011. Since that fateful day I have maintained my silence, but chose to speak out this week following an appearance by the News Corporation chairman at the Royal Courts of Justice. This is an opinion commentary… Read More

Shooters Hill Golf Club

I was playing golf in southeast London last weekend with a former lady captain when conversation turned to the history of our course, Shooter’s Hill Golf Club and the local area.  Dick Turpin, Hitler’s doodlebugs and Bobby Locke, in no particular order, but it turns out Shooters Hill is positively steeped in history. I was captivated and immediately consulted Google on my return home. The name ‘Shooters Hill’ was first recorded in 1226… Read More

Hole-in-one

So there I was. Striding down the lush green fairways of a swanky Kent golf course overlooking London’s glorious skyline. My mind wondering off as I gazed into the distance at the sleek Shard of Glass towering over the capital. The 80-story skyscraper continuing its heavenly climb. From its summit the views stretch for 50 miles in every direction. An extraordinary feat of engineering and on reflection, perhaps, in part to blame… Read More

World Trick Shot Golf Champ

They promised a fun day out for the whole family and Decathlon didn’t disappoint. Hosted by Geoff Swain, the amazing World Trick Shot Champ wowed audiences with a variety of mind-blowing golf stunts in the new look showroom. Decathlon’s Surrey Quays superstore was transformed into a golfing mecca this week with huge discounts on a wide range of equipment and clothing plus competitions and prizes galore for all ages. Just watch the… Read More

Winter golf

There’s something about the start of the pro golf season that sparks new realms of excitement in me. Notwithstanding my juvenile crush on the G-Mac, it is more a yearning to dust down my clubs and follow in the footsteps of Tiger’s comeback after a lengthy period in hibernation. Inspired by involuntary chunks of free time and watching the golfing greats lock horns under an Abu Dhabi sun, I decided it was time… Read More