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Stick it Up Your Punter!: The Uncut Story of the "Sun" Newspaper (Pocket books) Paperback – 4 Jan 1999


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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 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 390,071 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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By nick fraser on 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 By Ronald Bingham on 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 May 1999
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Franz Bieberkopf on 2 Mar 2007
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 By John Dwice on 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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Aug 2001
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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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 May 2000
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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