THE chat at last night’s Scottish Press Awards? The usual grumbling and salacious gossip. Why did the Daily Record win Front Page of the Year for a mocked up picture – of footballer, James McFadden – as a gladiator? What was it about Darren Tulett’s tale about the departure of former Rangers manager, Paul Le Guen, from Ibrox, that merited the Sports Scoop of the Year title?
Hear about the resignation of Noel Miller, one of Scotland’s most-respected media officers, from Lothian and Borders Police? Or the supposedly vengeful partner of an allegedly philandering hack, sending out an email inviting a peek at naughty pics? Just what was the opening film sequence trying to say: that Glasgow housing estates are made up of piled copies of mainly the Daily Record?
But, oh, the victories! The Scottish Sun’s Iain King notching up three Sports News Writer awards in a row. The Sunday Herald’s Paul Hutcheon receiving one of his three awards (Scoop of the Year) from his dad, Bill – editor of The Courier. The triumphs that were the speeches by judging panel chair, George Reid, and Lifetime Achievement award recipient, Joan Burnie. The absence of two winners – Ian Bell and Michael Tierney – maybe because their mantelpieces are already groaning under the weight of previous successes.
Joan, who began her career in newspapers in a temporary job filing photographs on The Herald’s art desk, has been an ‘agony aunt’ on the Daily Record for 29 years. In other words, she knows – unlike the modern-day journalist – what it is to have a lunch break. And she told the assembled gathering: “I let the judges know that if you don’t give me something this year, I’ll hunt you down and have sex with you.”