Friday, 17 April 2015

Have a crack at this week's newsquiz

Here's this week's newsquiz. Last week's questions were clearly a bit tougher as the excuses were certainly flowing - 'distracted by the Grand National', 'sleeping', 'spent the week abroad' etc. The best collective score, for the first time ever, went to my drinking pals at the Plough who clocked up 17. The top individual score was 15 - by Alex Murphy, James Restall and Michael Owens. Chris Lennon equalled his personal best of 14 for the fourth time in the last five weeks, the same score as the Batstone collective. Blaise Tapp, who scored a highly impressive 20 a couple of weeks ago, slipped back to a disappointing ten. Try your hand at this week's questions. As usual there are 25 points for the taking. Don't forget to let me know how you get on.

The Independent reports on Lord Jenner
(Question 18)
1. Which of the parties, apart from Labour and the SNP, taking part in the BBC election debate had the most seats in the last parliament? 
Bonus: What did Nick Clegg (who was not at the debate) call the potential rightwing alliance of Ukip, the Democratic Unionists and the Conservatives?
2. The owner of which two daily UK newspapers gave Nigel Farage ‘one of his best birthday presents ever’ with a £1.3m donation to Ukip? Half a point each for each paper.
Bonus: Polish prince Janek Zylinski challenged Farage to what?
3. A memorial service is to be held in Castleford for a woman who during her life was deported from Malta for punching a policeman, became a Jehovah’s Witness and posed on the sleeve of a single by the Smith’s. Who was she?
4. Why was Nimrud in the headlines?
5. Christopher Eccleston revealed the reason he quit the role of Dr Who. What was it?
6. How were Shout by Lulu, Young Americans by David Bowie and I’ll Be There by Niles and Chic Rodgers connected?
Bonus: Percy Sledge, who died this week, had a No 1 in 1966 with his debut single. What was it called?
Bonus. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry revealed that the biggest selling album in the world in 2014 sold 10 million copies (4 million more than second placed 1989 by Taylor Swift). What is it?
7. Which country voted to continue the spring hunting of quail and turtle doves, an activity that is banned across Europe?
8. Why is a candlelit vigil planned for tonight (Friday) in St George Square, Glasgow?
9. Jordan Spieth was crowned the youngest Masters winner since Tiger Woods - how old is he?
Bonus: Spieth’s final score equalled Woods’s 1997 tournament record at how many strokes under par?

10. Whose headstone was vandalised at Washburn Street Cemetery, Scranton, Pennsylvania?
11. Why were all flags on New South Wales government buildings and establishments including, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, lowered to half-mast?
12. How did Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring upset her exclusive neighbourhood?
13. Who wrote: 'This morning, someone suggested they’d like to see me burn to death. All of which goes to say that I am off Twitter for a bit. Love and peace x.’?
14. There was a reported 'flurry of excitement’ among Premier League football clubs when coach Jurgen Klopp announced he would be leaving which club in the summer?
15. Why was Joshua Leakey in the headlines?
16. Who was accused by the European Union of formally violating antitrust laws?
17. What is the name of the spacecraft that was launched to deliver more than 4,300lbs of supplies, including an espresso maker, to the International Space Station?  
18. Which police force, which interviewed more than 2,000 people and submitted a file of evidence to the CPS, condemned the decision not to prosecute Labour peer Lord Janner on child sex charges?
19. Which supermarket announced it is to cut up to 720 head-office jobs while recruiting 5,000 shop floor staff as part of a plan to focus on customer service?
20. A maths question, which asked High School students in Singapore 'What date is Cheryl’s birthday?’, went viral. What is the answer to the puzzle, i.e. when is Cheryl's birthday?

Answers here

Friday, 10 April 2015

Try your hand at this week's newsquiz

Here's this week's news quiz. Last week saw a top individual score by our old favourite Lydia Willgress with 19. Sophie Jamieson and her family got a whopping 22.5 on a family break in Portugal - I am impressed the that the Jamiesons keep up with the news even when on holiday. Penny Dawson scored 17 and Alex Murphy 15.5. There were a few on 14, including master of consistency Chris Lennon, James Restall (slipping back one from his usual score of 15) and last week's top scorer Blaise Tapp. The Batstone collective were clearly in Easter holiday mode, only clocking up 13. Here's this week's quiz. As usual here are 20 questions with five bonuses, so 25 points to be had. Let me know how you get on. 

Picture of the week - by the Press Association's Stefan Rousseau
(Election Questions 1 and 2)


1. Who, according to Ed Miliband, demeaned himself and his office?
Bonus: Ed Miliband said which rules were ‘indefensible' and axing them would raise 'hundreds of millions' in tax?
Bonus: The Green Party released a boyband video featuring lookalikes of Ed Miliband, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage singing a pop ballad. What is the name of the song?
2. Joey Essex went on a boat trip with Nigel Farage. Where?
Bonus: Vice chairman for Ukip in Bristol, John Langley, who is standing for next month’s city elections, revealed he had worked as what for 40 years?
3. The US Masters is being held, as always, at the Augusta National Golf Club. In which state is it?
Bonus: Who was caddy for Rory McIlroy in the pre-Masters Par 3 contest? 
4. The Prince and Princess of Wales celebrated their wedding anniversary. How long have they been married?
5. Who wrote The Adventure of Alice Lascelles which is due for publication in June?
6. Burglars emptied up to 70 safety deposit boxes at which London vault?
7. It was revealed that Garry Kief tied the knot in a private ceremony last year in Palm Springs. Who did he marry?
8. UKOG has found a significant amount of what near Gatwick Airport?
9.  Jeremy Clarkson pulled out of which BBC television show?
10. The original annotated manuscript for which hit song sold for $1.2m (£806,000)?
11. A defendant in a bankruptcy case shot dead a co-defendant, his former lawyer and a court judge in which city?
12. Why was Michael Slager in the headlines? 
13. Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and James Nesbitt (The Missing) are both nominated for the leading actor award in this year’s Baftas. Name one of the other two nominees.
Bonus: Who is sponsoring the Baftas?
14. Which was the first of the 92 football league sides to be relegated this season?
15. Who announced: 'Ladies and gentleman, sorry for this delay … we’ve found out we’ve picked up the wrong driver and have to reverse.'?
16. Worcestershire was top of what list?
17. Forensic teams are exhuming bodies from the mass graves of up to 1,700 soldiers killed by ISIS in which city?
18. Why did the England and Norway under-19 womens' teams replay the final seconds of their European Championship qualifier on Thursday?
19. Police launched an investigation into the death of four people all believed to be linked to the surgery of Dr Rory Lyons. Where did this happen?
20. This weekend Nina Carberry is hoping to become the first woman to do what?

Answers here

Friday, 3 April 2015

Never mind Good Friday ... here's the newsquiz

Blaise Tapp and Michael Owens were the top scorers in last week's newsquiz with a hugely impressive 20 out of 25. Alex Murphy was back in form with 18. Old favourites Lydia Willgress, Sophie Jamieson and Damon Wake all clocked up 17. James Restall scored his third 15 in a row but was gutted to be pipped by colleague Catherine Hardy who scored 16. The Batstone household (Adam and Lucy) also scored a collective 16. Charlie Taverner scored 15, Chris Lennon 14 and Matt Cornish 12. 
Here's this week's quiz (you didn't really think I would take Good Friday off). As usual there are 20 questions with five bonuses, so 25 points up for grabs. Take a break from your hot cross buns, get the grey-matter going and let me know how you get on.  

Today's Guardian reports on last night's leaders' debate (Q1)
1. What role did Jonny Tudor have in the televised Leaders' Debate?
Bonus: In which city was the debate held?
2. David Cameron warned that working families would face an annual average tax rise of how much if Labour was elected?
Bonus: The claim was dismissed as 'unhelpful and of little value’ by the IFS. What does IFS stand for?
3. Who endorsed Labour by saying: 'My values are about community, compassion, decency; that's how I was brought up.'?
Bonus: A Labour government would threaten jobs, deter investment and put Britain's recovery at risk, according to a letter signed by more than 100  business figures. To which newspaper was the letter sent?
Bonus: Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett became the first person in Britain to stand for Parliament who has openly admitted to what?
4. What linked Simon Cowell, Jeremy Clarkson, Ant and Dec and Longleat Safari Park?
5. A fishmonger was sentenced to hang after killing two Newcastle University students in a bar brawl last summer. Where did this happen?
6. Who began a new job, working for Bond Air Services?
7. Parent company Kingfisher announced a 15.2 per cent fall in pre-tax profit to £644m and said it is to close 60 of its stores over the next two years. Which store?
8. According to bookmakers William Hill which girl’s name is favourite for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's next baby after odds fell from 14-1 to 4-1?
9. Why were Peter and Jean Tarsey in the headlines?
10. Lewis Hamilton was second in the Malaysian Grand Prix … but which driver and which team won the race? Half point each.
11. Goodluck Jonathan was beaten by Muhammadu Buhari in which country’s election?
12. Why were David and Kathleen Long from Scunthorpe in the headlines?
13. Who is believed to be suffering from Morgellons disease?
14. What happened at Garissa University?
15. To the nearest million pounds how much did Richard and Angela Maxwell, from Coningsby in Lincolnshire, win on the EuroMillions 
16. Two Premier League players scored in England’s 1-1 draw with Italy. Which clubs do they play for? Half point each.
17. Palestine became the 123rd member of which organisation?
18. John Lennon’s first wife Cynthia died of cancer at her home on which island?
Bonus: Where did Sir Paul McCartney say that he finds the inspiration to finish writing some of his songs?
19. Why was unemployed 56-year-old Mike Holpin called feckless?
20. Former Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding is set to join the cast of which TV programme this summer?

Answers here


Friday, 27 March 2015

Young journalists from UK and US join the Mail

Some of last year's trainees - including those from America
The search for young journalists to join the Mail's training schemes has just about finished. After months of CV-sifting by my colleague Mike Watson and three weeks of interviews, we have finally selected trainees for MailOnline, the sport desk, Femail, the Mail newsroom and subs desk. They will begin the training scheme in September. 


Next week interviews are taking place with Sue Ryan in New York for trainee online journalists for DailyMail.com. The successful applicants will be trained for three weeks in the US and then head over to Britain to work at the Mail and regional newspapers before returning to America. This follows-on from last year's scheme where five young Americans spent five months training and working on UK newspapers. 


The Mail, along with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, is also offering places on the scheme to two people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Mail has long-supported the family of Stephen, who was murdered at 18 in 1993.  Applications for these scholarships must be in by this Monday. Here's how to apply.

All in all, that is a lot of young people who will be joining the Mail this year. I look forward to working with them. 

Test your news knowledge with this week's quiz

The top submitted score in last week’s newsquiz was by back-in-form Alex Murphy with 17.5 points. Adam Batstone scored 13 on his own and when Mrs B (Lucy Thorpe) came back from her run the collective Batstone score went up to 16. James Restall and Catherine Hardy (separately) got an respectable 15, both thanking their Budget knowledge. Chris Lennon scored 12, blaming the solar eclipse for clouding his mind. Damon Wake had a far better excuse for his 9.5 … he spent the week on a Thai beach. Pretty impressive under the circumstances. Have a crack at this week’s quiz. As usual there are 20 questions with five bonuses, so 25 points up for grabs. Let me know how you get on. 

The i's report on the plane crash in the Alps.
(Question 1)
1. The Germanwings flight that crashed in the Alps was travelling to which German city?
Bonus: What was the name of the co-pilot who apparently locked the pilot from the cockpit and took control of the plane? 
Bonus: The flags at which football club’s stadium were lowered to half-mast in memory of Martyn Matthews who was killed in the crash?
2. In the Channel 4/Sky election debates, when pressed by Jeremy Paxman, David Cameron admitted he couldn't live on what?
Bonus: Paxman told an anecdote ('heard on the Tube') about Ed Miliband going into a room with someone. Two minutes later the other person is standing smiling and Miliband is all over the floor in pieces. Who was the other person?  
3. David Cameron said: ’Terms are like _______ _______ . Two are wonderful but three might just be too many.’ What are the missing words? 
Bonus: Parliament will be dissolved on Monday in preparation for the election. The State Opening of the new Parliament will be on which date?
4. Songwriter Jackie Trent, who died this week, wrote the lyrics for which TV soap opera's theme tune?
5. Thousands of people lined the streets to pay tribute to their first prime minister, who governed their country for more than three decades. Which country? 
6. A record 221 points were scored in the three final matches of the Six Nations rugby tournament. Which country scored the most?
7. Who fled the Queen’s Head pub during a protest by 'migrants, HIV activists, gay people, disabled people and breastfeeding mums’?
8. What was defeated by 228 votes to 202? 
9. The last episode of which television series will be screened on Christmas Day?
10. Utah has resurrected a law that allows what form of execution?
11. Huseyin Ulucan became the first person in Europe to receive what?
12. Why was Perrie Edwards dubbed the new Yoko Ono?
13. Why was the BRCA1 gene in the headlines?
14. What, for the first time since records began, was the same this February as it was last February?
15. The Supreme Court ruled the 'black spider memos’ sent to seven Government departments could be published. Who wrote them?
16. Why are Belgium and Israel playing two European Championship qualifier games in the next few days when every other team is only playing one?
17. 23 people were taken to hospital after a coach rolled off the A83 at which scenic Scottish pass?
18. American Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in 2009 and released as part of a prisoner swap last year, has been charged with what offence?
19. At which event did Benedict Cumberbatch read a 14-line poem by the Poet Laureate? 
Bonus: Who is the Poet Laureate? 
20. Jodie Kidd, Guy Martin, Steve Coogan and Chris Evans are among the bookies' favourites to become what?

Answers here

Friday, 20 March 2015

Test yourself with this week's newsquiz

Here's this week's newsquiz. Last week's top scorers almost had a good sequence going. The top score of 17 was submitted by veteran quizzer Lydia Willgress. James Restall got an impressive 15, Chris Lennon clocked a personal best at 14, Alex Murphy 13, Adam Batstone (and Mrs B, Lucy Thorpe) got 12, the same as Damon Wake and Ailsa Leslie 11. A score of 16 would have made it very neat. As usual there are 20 questions, with five bonuses, so 25 points in total. Let me know how you get on with this week's quiz.  


The Budget dominated Thursday's front pages
(Question 1)
1. In his Budget, Chancellor George Osborne reduced the duty on beer by how much? Bonus: The personal tax allowance will increase to how much next year? Bonus: A new £1 coin will be introduced in 2017. How many sides will it have? Bonus: Mr Osborne announced that millions of pounds will be put towards commemorating the anniversaries of which two battles? Half point each. 
2. In a separate announcement the Government said it would raise the minimum wage for over 21-year-olds by 20p from October. This will make it how much per hour?
3. Who delivered an alternative budget using a yellow box?
4. Who said: 'Things would be dull without gossip’ ?
5. Thousands of people have signed a petition trying to prevent rapper Kanye West doing what?
6. What was the name of the museum where terrorists killed more than 20 people in Tunis? 
Bonus: A British woman was among those killed. What was her name?
7. How many British football teams in total made it through to the quarter finals of the Champions League and Europa League?
8. The Metropolitan Police is to be investigated over claims of 14 separate child sex abuse cover-ups - including allegations that it failed to charge which Liberal MP?
9. What was the name of the cyclone which caused death and devastation on the Pacific island of Vanuatu?
10. Victoria Beckham and Elton John were among the celebrities who spoke out against Dolce & Gabbana after the fashion designers called childen born via IVF what?
11. Lady Victoria Borwick was selected by the Conservatives to succeed Malcolm Rifkind in the safe seat of Kensington. Which official position does Lady Borwick currently hold?
12. The Likud party scored a decisive victory in which country’s general election?
13. Which supermarket reported its fifth consecutive quarter of falling sales and warned that trading conditions remain challenging 'for the foreseeable future’? Bonus: A survey by The Grocer magazine revealed which supermarket in the UK to be the cheapest?
14. Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps said he 'screwed up' by saying he never had a second job while an MP - when he was working as a web marketeer under which pen name?
15. American Ellis Short swapped a Urugayan for a Dutchman. Where did this happen?
16. HSBC wrote to customers telling them their accounts may be closed if they did not take their passport and address details to a local branch. Where did the branch have to be?
17. Why were judges Timothy Bowles, Warren Grant and Peter Bullock removed from office?
18. From which date will passport checks be carried out on all people leaving the UK? 
19. How was a Czech tourist, visiting the Norwegian island of Svalbard to watch the solar eclipse, injured?
20. Which of these is not included in the National Bird Campaign to pick the UK’s most iconic bird? Blue tit, robin, swan, sparrow, wren, red kite?

Answers here

Friday, 13 March 2015

Have a crack at this week's newsquiz

The newsquiz must have been a little tougher last week. The top submitted score was 15 by Damon Wake. Adam Batstone scored 13 with a little help from Mrs B, Lucy Thorpe. Usual high scorer Alex Murphy clocked in with a disappointing 8. Special mention goes to Nicola Castell who scored 13 - a personal best - in my local, the Plough, last Friday night. It's difficult to judge but my proofreader reckons this week's quiz might even be a little meaner than last time. As usual there are 20 questions, with five bonuses, so 25 points to be had. Let me know how you get on. 


Terry Pratchett on today's Guardian front page
(Question 18)

1. Name the Irish setter which died after apparently being fed beef chunks laced with poison at Crufts. Bonus: Under what name did the dog compete? 
2. Who said: 'It was a situation I was totally untrained for, totally unprecedented, and I make no excuses. I was the man who did it.’? 
3. The family of Marvin Gaye were awarded more than $7.3million in damages after an LA court decided that Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines had more than just a passing resemblance to which song?
4. Sean O’Brien went viral, won the support of celebrities and a star-studded party in his honour is now being planned in LA. How is he better known?
5. Times’ journalist Andrew Norfolk was named News Reporter of the Year at this week’s Press Awards for his coverage of which story?
6. Which TV programme came in for criticism from viewers who said the cast sounded like Wurzels?
7. The pound rose to its highest level against the Euro since December 2007. At today’s rate (Fri) how many Euros do you get for a pound? Bonus: Gordon Brown warned that if Britain left the EU it would be out in the cold with few friends ... like which other country?
8. David Cameron is to become the first Conservative prime minister to send a child to a state secondary school. Name the child. Bonus: Name the school. 
9. Cricketer Majid Haq was sent home from the Cricket World Cup after posting a Tweet that said: 'Always tougher when you're in the minority! #colour #race’. Which country does he play for?
10. The Conservatives and Labour have declined to confirm whether, if they were in Government after May, their defence spending would meet Nato's current target. What percentage of GDP is that target?
11. The chair of the BBC Trust came under pressure to resign over her role as an independent director at HSBC. Name her.
12. Solar Impulse is attempting to do what?
13. What is the name of the duo who will represent the UK in Eurovision 2015?
14. Photographer Patrick McCann is recovering in hospital with a broken leg. What happened to him? 
15. Members of the Royal family and political leaders are attending a ceremony today (Fri) to mark the end of combat operations in the Afghanistan and remember the servicemen and women who lost their lives. Where is it being held? 
16. Why did the players in the Chelsea versus Paris St Germain Champions League game wear black armbands?
17. Why was Oisin Tymon in the headlines?
18. What two words were in Terry Pratchett’s final Tweet? Bonus: How old was he?
19. The ex-wife of the millionaire owner of Ecotricity, Dale Vince, was granted the right to claim a divorce settlement … even though they divorced 23 year ago. How much is she claiming? Bonus: Mr Vince owns which football club?
20. The Speaker, John Bercow apologised, to Employment Secretary Esther McVey for comparing her to what?
Answers here

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Ten thoughts about The Press Awards

The Times team celebrates the Newspaper of the Year award
Picture by Nick Carter, MagStar/Press Awards UK
Last night the great and the good of Britains national newspapers gathered for the Press Awards. It was a cracking evening from which I have just about recovered. I really ought to have learned by now to skip the bar afterwards. The Times took the Newspaper of the Year award - helped massively by the dogged determination and journalistic brilliance of Andrew Norfolk in uncovering the Rotherham sex scandal. All credit to The Times for giving him four years to cover one story. You can watch his emotional acceptance speech for the News Reporter of the Year award here - and reassure yourself that investigative journalism is alive and well. Well done to him, The Times and all of last nights winners. As always, the night was a real celebration of the best newspapers in the world and an opportunity to catch up with (increasingly) old faces. Here are my musings on the night.

Andrew Norfolk with host Nick Ferrari
Picture by Nick Carter, MagStar/Press Awards UK
i) The Times were the winners on the night by a long way. The daily collected eight winners’ awards - including Newspaper of the Year, largely due to the amazing work by Andrew Norfolk in Rotherham. There were also two highly commended awards. The Sunday Times collected two winners awards and two highly commended. It was quite a haul. It was also pleasing to see the paper which won the most individual awards, winning newspaper of the year. That hasn’t always happened ... but it makes sense to me.

ii) The Mirror also had a good night. The daily collected five winners’ awards and two highly commended mentions. The Daily Record also won an award and a highly commended, the Sunday Mirror was highly commended twice and the People once. It is good to see a red-top doing so well. The full breakdown of last night's award winners is Times 8, Daily Mirror 5, Daily Mail 4, Independent and i 3, Financial Times 2, Sunday Times 2, Guardian 1, Daily Telegraph 1, Standard 1, Press Association 1, Mail On Sunday 1, Independent on Sunday 1, Daily Record 1. In the last 15 years the only red-tops to win Newspaper of the Year have been the News of the World (2005) and the Mirror (2002). The judges, mainly journalists, have traditionally gravitated towards the heavier papers. It is, of course, difficult comparing red-top story-getters with the writers of the qualities. The Society of Editors has recognised this, separating some categories for the quality and popular papers. A good move.

iii) The Mirror did well  but where was The Sun? One shortlisted entry (Dan Wootton for Showbiz Reporter) and one nomination for the Cudlipp Award were the paper's only mention. Britain’s biggest selling paper not winning an award, let alone barely being shortlisted, is a bit of a shocker. I was also surprised that the world’s biggest newspaper website, MailOnline, wasn’t shortlisted for the digital award. Perhaps it didn’t enter.

iv) Another imbalance, which was mentioned on Twitter a few times last night, was the number of women represented. Seventeen of the winners were men and only four - including the Georgina Henry Women In Journalism Award -  were women. Last year there were 13 male winners and six women, so it looks like a step backwards. I believe, though, that the breakdown is more indicative of the balance in the newsrooms than any problem with the awards. The Society, under the guidance of Sue Ryan, is certainly ensuring there are more women on the judging panels. It is clearly a broader issue. And dont get me started on the number of journalists with an ethnic background 

v) It is always interesting to see how last year’s winners perform. The Guardian which cleaned up last year with four awards, including Newspaper of the Year, only won one award this year. It seems to be a bit of a pattern. The Daily Telegraph, which swept the board and won Newspaper of the Year for the MP expenses story in 2010, only gained a couple of highly commended mentions the following year. Someone suggested in the bar last night that there was some kind of ‘Buggins turn’ going on. There definitely isn’t. In years of judging I have never heard anyone suggest that last year’s results should be a taken into account  ... at any level. There must be another reason. Any thoughts? 

vi) The winners are invited to say a few words as they collect their award. Some do, some dont. The audience usually gives an internal groan when someone goes to hog the microphone. But not last night. The speeches were among the best bits. If you werent there take a look at the videos on the Press Awards website. You will hear Andrew Norfolk talk about how he 'shamed that cess pit of a council in Rotherham'. Another Times journalist Anthony Lloyd took the opportunity to thank the doctors in Syria, Baghdad and London who patched him up and his Syrian fixer who taught him that though the pen is sometimes mightier than the sword there is also a place for a claw hammer’. 
On the lighter side there was Independent columnist Mark Steel saying: 'It’s lovely to write for a newspaper that, when you tell people in the wider world who you’re writing for, they say - aah, I didn’t know that was still going.’ Oh and there was also Quentin Letts calling his editor ‘a pussycat.’  Have a look here, it’s worth it.

vii) Presenter Nick Ferrari is a gem. For the last few years he has hosted the Regional Press Awards and gone down a storm, so it was good to see him stepping up to the big one. He understands the business, he goes off script, he is irreverent but respectful and gets the tone spot on. He was also the best presenter yet in keeping the murmuring crowd in check. The event ran over but he was still there beaming away even though he had to be back on LBC for the early shift this morning. Great job Nick.

Young Journalist of the Year, Peter Campbell
Picture by Nick Carter, MagStar/Press Awards UK
viii) It is always nice to see people I have had the privilege to train, getting recognition. I worked with Larisa Brown and Peter Campbell on the Daily Mail training scheme and Alan Selby on the Trinity Mirror scheme. All three were nominated for the Young Journalist award. As an extra bonus, Peter won it. Well done to all three. I met Heidi Blake on the Telegraph scheme and was delighted to see her involvement in the Insight investigation into the Fifa Files, which won the News Team of the Year Award for The Sunday Times. It was also great to see Fay Schlesinger, home editor of The Times, on the stage with the team picking up the Newspaper of the Year award. Proud of them all.

The Telegraph's Matt with Nick Ferrari and Sue Ryan
Picture by Nick Carter, MagStar/Press Awards UK

ix) Two of the industry’s most likeable, talented and self-effacing characters collected special awards. Matt Pritchett - known to most people simply as Matt - was presented with the Journalists’ Charity Award for an outstanding contribution to journalism. Presenting the award, Sue Ryan, the charity’s chair, said: ‘His gently subversive but life affirming world view is as sharp as any leader writer or columnist - with the added pleasure that he also makes us laugh out loud’. I’ll drink to that. The chairman’s award went to a man who Bob Satchwell said had 'a formidable reputation for accuracy, fairness, lack of bias and speed of delivery’. Step forward the Press Association’s Jonathan Grun. Two very well-deserved awards.

PA's Jonathan Grun receives the Chairman's Award
Picture by Nick Carter, MagStar/Press Awards UK

x) And, talking about the Journalists Charity ... a whipround on each table raised nearly £3,000. The Mirror’s table won the Champagne for stuffing their donation box with the most notes … well done them. The charity is something all journalists need to support. The details are here

Finally congratulations again to Bob Satchwell, the Society of Editors' executive director, and his team, including MagStar. Its been a tough year for journalism, so we all needed something to celebrate and a bit of a party. It went off brilliantly, the food was lovely, the drink flowed, the presentations were slick and the company was enjoyable. But behind the scenes I know all too well the effort that goes into making the whole thing as fair as possible, organising the event, printing and proof-reading, keeping everyone happy in a room bouncing with rivalry and egos and general firefighting. Well done Bob ... it was a triumph.

Now we have to do it all again at the regional awards. Ill see you for more celebrations on May 15.