Media Lifeline: Guy Zitter - Celebrating 25 years in the world of newspapers

1981: Following an incident involving a deranged customer wielding an axe, Seychelles nightclub owner Guy Zitter decides that the entertainment business isn't edgy enough - and he jets to London to become part of the ad sales team on the launch of The Mail on Sunday.

He keeps his hand in, though, by running a restaurant in Edinburgh at the weekends.

1989: Shinning rapidly up Lord Rothermere's greasy pole at Associated Newspapers, Zitter is given the job of ad director on the Daily Mail at the tender age of 36. His only regret, he reflects as he looks back on the formative stage of his media career, is that it has cost him his hair.

1994: Having served a brief apprenticeship as deputy to managing director Bill Pressey, Zitter accedes to the top job on Pressey's retirement. In a trade press interview he caves in when subjected to an insistent line of questioning and admits that he is now fat as well as bald.

2004: In 2001 Zitter was voted Campaign's "Best Media Salesperson to Have Lunch With". In 2004, he tops that with his first promotion in a decade. While keeping his managing director role, he now gains responsibilities as commercial director of Associated Newspapers.

2006: As his 25th anniversary in the business looms, colleagues worry when Zitter acquires a rather faddish enthusiasm - cycling to and from work. Although the sight of a lycra-clad Zitter is alarming, it's not as worrying as the suspicion that he's turning all macrobiotic - and might start reading The Guardian. However, observers are reassured to witness the dense clouds of cigar smoke he generates as he wobbles along.

Fast forward ...

2008: Following Richard Desmond's acquisition of the Daily Mail, the irrepressible Zitter, whose attempts to impress his new boss by taking up the drums fail miserably, leaves to launch a Seychelles-style nightclub on Hammersmith Broadway. He keeps an axe handy above the door.

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