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Stick it Up Your Punter!: The Uncut Story of the "Sun" Newspaper (Pocket books) [Paperback]

Peter Chippindale , Chris Horrie
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Jan 1999 Pocket books
Acquired by Rupert Murdoch in 1969 and relaunched as a tabloid, the Sun newspaper rapidly established itself as a major voice in British society. Under editors like Sir Larry Lamb and especially Kelvin MacKenzie, it came to epitomise a tabloid culture that revelled in sleaze, expose and shock journalism, and became the best-selling daily in the country. Focusing especially on the newspaper's heyday under Lamb, MacKenzie and Stuart Higgins, Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie's history of the paper and its methods is now regarded as a classic piece of writing on journalism. Brilliantly written, hilariously funny and full of jaw-dropping revelations, it is both a hugely entertaining read and an essential text for any students of journalism and the media.


Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 2nd Revised edition edition (4 Jan 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671017829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671017828
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 307,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

The 1980s was the best of times and the worst of times for the British tabloid press. Locked in a vicious war for readers it was a time when the phrase "anything goes" never seemed so apt.

Privacy was invaded, stories made up and toes well and truly trodden on as Fleet Street's finest embarked on a period which, arguably, saw some of the best and worst reporting in the history of British journalism. And the paper that emerged from the contest with its head and shoulders way above the rest was the Sun.

In Stick It Up Your Punter!, ex-national newspapermen Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie take a behind the scenes look at the operations of the Sun and it's lewd, crude and brilliant editor Kelvin McKenzie. In the main, it's a tale of high farce as Chippindale and Horrie explain the truth behind stories including the rescue of a death-bound donkey from Spain and the infamous "Gotcha!" and "Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster" headlines. This humour is tempered, however, by more serious stories including the libel actions of Elton John and Jeffrey Archer against the paper.

For anyone interested in the social history of Britain and the rise and fall of tabloid journalism this book is completely unsurpassed in it's depth and coverage. For those seeking light entertainment and Carry On style humour, there's plenty here to keep you amused. Stick It Up Your Punter is the finest book on British tabloid journalism ever written.

About the Author

Peter Chippindale began writing seriously as a front-page investigative journalist on the GUARDIAN. He then went on to make documentaries for LWT before leaving to concentrate on his writing. He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen non-fiction books. Chris Horrie is a former national newspaper and magazine journalist and editor, TV producer, lecturer and academic. His previous books as author or co-author include PREMIERSHIP, CITIZEN GREG and L?VE TV. He lives in London.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TOP OF THE TIPS 14 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So why hasn't there been a brilliant fictional reenactment - a novel? a film? - of the horrors and glories of British tabloid journalism. As you ponder why this is the case take time to read this wonderful book. If you aren't British you should maybe strive to understand our bizarrely vital culture through the foul-mouthed often rancorous but also, in a way he never understood, idealistic personality of Kelvin MacKenzie, editor of the Sun in its heyday and whose headlines exercise a hold over the British imagination only rivalled by the Bard. It is fashionable to decry Murdochland for its abysmal journalistic practices. That's to be expected, though the sanctimony is a bit nauseating; but we should also appreciate the vanishing breed of hacks for their cunning, the quality of their abuse and the rough democracy installed by the publications that kept them in booze. In Bouverie Street, the old headquarters of the Sun and the News of the World, there was a squalid Irish pub much favoured by Murdoch lifers, The Tipperary. It was known as the TOP OF THE TIPS. Say no more...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and funny, well worth reading 31 May 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book really does deserve a five-star rating. It's well written, and recounts lots of interesting and amusing stories. Reading this book is not a chore, it almost reads itself. Definitely worth getting.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The backstory of the Murdoch empire 18 July 2011
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent primer for how Rupert Murdoch managed to take control of the UK media and, in effect, gain unprecedented control of UK politics over the past forty years. I write this review as the hacking scandal deepens and recommend this as an answer to many questions about the building of the Murdoch empire.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found a copy of this in a second hand bookshop a few months ago,and I highly recommend it to anyone.It is hilarious and terrifying at the same time-how someone as monstrous as Kelvin Makenzie ever got to the top of the greasy pole at "The Scum",his worship of Thatcher,his utter hatred of gays,blacks,peace campaigners,feminists,striking workers and(most notoriously)of 96 dead football fans.He is a cartoon caricature of the loony right made flesh.

The authors interviewed widely within current and ex-employees of "The Scum",noting in passing that current News International employees were committing a sackable offence by talking to them.Their accounts are funny,but their fear and loathing of Mackenzie comes through loud and clear,especially as the story moves from the mid to the late 1980s.

Murdoch is a shadowy figure in the background of most of this book,but he shines out in the latter chapters,where it is explained that "The Scum" was a cash cow being milked to pay for Murdoch's international TV empire.The stories of the Sky promo drivel "Scum" journalists had to try and palm off as real news is eye-opening.

Whether deliberately or unconciously,the Hillsborough catastrophe of April 1989 and it's aftermath,which,thanks to Mackenzie,led to the biggest financial disaster ever suffered by a British newspaper(still ongoing in 2007)is the climax of the book.Their description of Mackenzie musing over whether to splash with "YOU SCUM" or "THE TRUTH" a few days after the disaster is horrifying.The reactions of other journalists to the infamous headline-basically,disassociate yourself from it and keep as far away from Mackenzie as possible-is well depicted,as is the boycott of "The Scum" initiated by outraged scousers then,and still going strong in Liverpool as I write.

The hardest thing to do when you read SIUYJ is to suspend your natural skepticism and accept that the authors didn't make this up,it all really happened.Read it in wonder.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, entertaining and revealing 5 May 2008
Format:Paperback
"Stick It Up Your Punter" tells the story of the Sun Newspaper through its ups and downs mainly in the 80's.

After the first chapter I found this book impossible to put down. What Chippendale and Horrie do is provide a fascinating incite into the way the past editors of the Sun newspaper worked. In partictular Kelvin Mackenzie, the sparkling personality who helped shape the Sun into what it is now.

Its entertaining to see the contrast between the first two editors of the paper; the very professional Sir "Larry Lamb" and the loud bombastic Mackenzie. The latter offering colleagues expensive whiskey when they visited the editors office and the former offering lager straight out of the can.

Along with the narritave of how the Sun office ticked goes endless laugh out loud stories and cracking headlines thought up by sometimes unlikely people in unique amusing situations.

In short if you are interested in journalism or the media I recommend this book. If not then it is still well worth a read for its very entertaning stories.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
From The Sun's fictitious "Straight sex cannot give you AIDS" splash, through their fictitious "Exterminate all gay people" 'quote' to their promotion of "Hop Off You Frogs" badges, this detailed book exposes it all. Excellent (if sometimes upsetting and angering) stuff.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frogs hopped in for Hoddle 22 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Full of juicy nuggets and wacky tales about the rise of the Sun to be be Britain's top-selling daily newspaper. FROGS HOP IN FOR HODDLE was my favourite headline. Maybe reading this very entertaining book would help those who don't like the Sun's content to appreciate the professionalism, creativity and hard work that went into making the paper what was/is. Chippindale and Horrie also tell of a lot of seat-of-pants instinct (and not just Kelvin McKenzie's) that makes it all seem, it retrospect, something of a Golden Age.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific really funny
An account of the rise of Murdock and the dirty tricks sanctioned by, particularly Kelvin McKenzie, the overbearing, pompous bully who edited the Sun during its prime and who still... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. R. Aulton
5.0 out of 5 stars groan
in depth view of the sun newspapers history and its operating methods.it was shock to read it all in one place the horrible misleading or just made up stories. Read more
Published 3 months ago by m. dosa
5.0 out of 5 stars Read all about what kind of newspaper The Sun really is!
A great read, the true insight to this so called national newspaper. I would recommend this book to anyone who reads newspapers
Published 11 months ago by D S McIlwrath
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying and hilarious
This is a snappy but knowledgeable account of the rise of the Sun newspaper, mainly during the Kelvin McKenzie era in the eighties and nineties. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Stick it up your punter!
A great account of the hardships, hassles and hilarity of journalism.
The authors bring us a no-holds barred inside account of the Sun newspaper and its move from the... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Clare O'Beara
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
Interesting and well written but not as funny as expected. Well worth the money and a good account of the newspaper world.
Published 17 months ago by J.B.Binns
5.0 out of 5 stars Sequel Please
This is an excellent book. I have never been a fan of the "gutter press" but was stll shocked by the bigotry. Read more
Published on 16 April 2012 by Lizsays
5.0 out of 5 stars The good old 'currant bun'
There is said to be a sign which hangs above the office entrance to The Sun newspaper, which reads 'Welcome to Sunland'. Read more
Published on 4 Aug 2011 by John Moseley
5.0 out of 5 stars the sun mate, for proper geezers
Lovely stuff. I love the sun mate, cant get enough of it. sometimes they put to much news and politics in, who cares about that mate. Read more
Published on 20 Jun 2009 by Ricky Ratton
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