THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best Scoops

campaignlive.co.uk, Tuesday, 17 December 2002 12:00AM

1. JOHN MAJOR AND EDWINA CURRIE AFFAIR (THE TIMES)

The most surprising scoop of the year came in Edwina Currie's diaries, serialised in The Times. The paper bought itself a massive scoop when it emerged that former PM Major had conducted an affair with fellow Tory MP Currie. The story was cloaked in secrecy with The Times not running the story in its early editions so as not to alert competitors.

2. PAUL BURRELL'S STORY (DAILY MIRROR)

What the Butler saw, heard, did - never has a story captured the public's imagination in the manner of the revelations from Princess Diana's former butler. Turning down offers of more than £1 million, Burrell succumbed to the Daily Mirror's chequebook for £300,000.

3. "POSH KIDNAP: WE STOP CRIME OF THE CENTURY" (NEWS OF THE WORLD)

The News of the World's investigative reporter Mazher Mahmood came across a slightly amateur plot to kidnap the wife of Goldenballs. After weeks of undercover work the newspaper, along with Scotland Yard, was able to trap the kidnappers and a great scoop complete with some amazing pictures of the gang being arrested in a London car park followed.

4. SVEN GORAN ERIKSSON/ULRIKA JONSSON AFFAIR (DAILY MIRROR)

Another celebrity sex romp was uncovered by the Daily Mirror's reporter James Scott, who received a tip off that the fellow Swedes were playing ball together. With the England football team's World Cup campaign less than two months away, the jury was out on whether this was the ideal preparation for Sven. The story created enough interest to persuade Ulrika to publish her fateful autobiography.

5. WHITE COUPLE HAVE BLACK IVF TWINS (THE SUN)

After a "shocking NHS test tube bungle" The Sun makes the discovery that white parents have produced black twins. A human interest story with massive implications for the Nsational Health Service and its provision of IVF services.

6. A-LEVEL MARKING SCANDAL (THE OBSERVER)

In September, The Observer ran a story with the headline "Teachers fear A-level grades were fixed" after receiving calls from concerned parents and examiners. The story's full impact was felt almost two months later when it became a major factor in the decision by the education secretary, Estelle Morris, to resign.

7. ANDERSEN'S HEAD OFFICE LINKED TO ENRON PROBES (FINANCIAL TIMES)

The Financial Times story was the first to implicate Andersen in the Enron investigation and ran months before the auditor was finally brought down. The story traced Andersen's unsuccessful attempts to keep the scandal under wraps.

8. ANGUS DEAYTON AND THE PROSTITUTE (NEWS OF THE WORLD)

A prostitute's tale of how she romped with the Have I Got News for You presenter while he snorted cocaine aroused suspicion that the story was a plant to create publicity. But further revelations later in the year cost Deayton his job.

9. "BLACK ROD'S KILLER MEMO DAMNS BLAIR" (MAIL ON SUNDAY)

The Mail on Sunday got hold of a memo from Black Rod, Sir Michael Willocks, stating that Tony Blair tried to change the arrangements of the Queen Mother's lying in state to capitalise from it. Blair denied this and complained to the Press Complaints Commission about the MoS and two other papers for suggesting it. He withdrew the complaint.

10. "THEAKSTON BROTHEL BONDAGE SHAME" (THE PEOPLE)

A great headline and the latest in a long line of BBC children's presenters to emerge less than squeaky clean from tabloid revelations. Theakston paid prostitutes for S&M sex but they sold the story, complete with pictures, to The People. His career doesn't seem to have suffered.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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