Media and Journalism

Keith Macklin (Journalist and Sports Writer) 1931-2009

Born 19 Jan 1931
Died 1 Aug 2009
Aged 78

Keith Macklin was a British journalist, author, broadcaster and sports commentator.

He started out as a junior reporter on the Warrington Guardian before joining the BBC in the north of England, where he commentated on rugby league for the North of England Home Service in the 1950s and 1960s.

Keith Macklin was also a presenter on both BBC TV Look North in the mid 1960s and became a regular contributor to BBC Radio Merseyside in its infancy, covering sport. In 1969, he was the first presenter of the BBC programme Pot Black, and shortly afterwards he joined Yorkshire Television as a football commentator, where he would remain until 1976.

He also commentated on the 1974 World Cup for the ITV network, covering the only full international match ever played between the West and East German national sides, and presented the religious series Junior Sunday Quiz for YTV. Subsequently, he worked for Red Rose Radio and reappeared as a reporter for ITV’s The Goal Rush in 2001.

Some information retrieved from Wikipedia.

Donald Adamson (Historian) 1939-

Born 30 Mar 1939

Dr Donald Adamson JP is a British literary scholar, author and historian.

Born at Culcheth, Adamson was brought up on a family farm at Lymm, where his mother’s Booth family were resident for over 500 years; his maternal uncle, and godfather, was Major Gerald Loxley. His father’s family was of Scottish extraction, and a distant cousin was Mgr Thomas Adamson.

Books which he has written include Blaise Pascal: Mathematician, Physicist, and Thinker about God and The Curriers’ Company: A Modern History. His works are regarded as a gateway to European literature.

From 1949 to 1956 he attended Manchester Grammar School where he was taught by, amongst others, Eric James (later Lord James of Rusholme). He became a scholar of Magdalen College, Oxford, and was tutored by Austin Gill and Sir Malcolm Pasley, graduating BA in 1959, proceeding MA in 1963. He won the Zaharoff Travelling Scholar Prize of the University of Oxford for 1959–60, thereafter studying at the Paris-Sorbonne University, being tutored by Pierre-Georges Castex. In 1962 he took the degree of BLitt, proceeding Master of Letters (MLitt); his thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), entitled “Balzac and the Visual Arts”, was supervised by Jean Seznec of All Souls College, Oxford.

Adamson spent much of his teaching career at university level, although he taught at Manchester Grammar School from 1962 to 1964 and then at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand from 1964 to 1965. He taught at St George’s Church of England School, Gravesend in 1968. In 1969 he joined Goldsmiths’ College, where his teaching did much to enhance the University of London’s standing throughout French academic circles. In 1971 he was appointed a Recognised Teacher in the Faculty of Arts of the University of London and, in 1972, a member of its Faculty of Education, holding both appointments until 1989. He served as Chairman of the Board of Examiners at London University from 1983 until 1986, attracting candidates for undergraduate degrees including external students from the UK and throughout Europe as well as from Asian countries including Singapore and Hong Kong. In 2021 he was awarded Hon FCIL.

His personal interests include the history of religion and genealogy. He is also an enthusiastic art collector, mainly of Western European art, including a work of Eugène Isabey, and drawings of the 18th and 19th centuries.

He and his wife divide their time between homes in Kent and Polperro, Cornwall; Dr Adamson contributes much on the history of Cornwall.

Information retrieved from Wikipedia.

David Banks (Newspaper Editor) 1948-2022

Born 13 Feb 1948
died 22 Feb 2022
Aged 74

Arthur David Banks (13 February 1948 – 22 February 2022) was a British newspaper editor and broadcaster.

Banks was born in Warrington and attended Boteler Grammar School.

Banks worked in journalism through the 1970s, and developed a friendship with Kelvin MacKenzie. By 1979, Banks was assistant chief sub-editor at the Daily Mirror, then went to work with MacKenzie at the New York Post. In 1981, Mackenzie returned to the UK, and Banks became managing editor of the Post, but in 1983 followed MacKenzie back to work at The Sun as Assistant Editor. He led strikebreakers during the Wapping dispute.

In 1986, Banks returned to New York as editor of the Daily News but, the following year, he moved on to become Deputy Editor of The Australian, then in 1988 Editor of the Sydney Daily Telegraph. In 1992, he returned to the UK to become Editor of the Mirror, then in 1994 became Editorial Director of the Mirror Group Consultant Editor of the Sunday Mirror.

Later in the 1990s, Banks presented breakfast shows on LBC and then Talk Radio UK. In the 2000s, he wrote a regular column for the Press Gazette.

Personal life and death

Banks married Gemma Newton in 1975 in Wales. The couple had a daughter (born 1978) and a son (born 1982). He died from pneumonia on 22 February 2022, days after his 74th birthday.

Retrieved from Wikipedia.

Steve Parker (Science Writer) 1952-

Born 1952

Steve Parker is a British science writer of children’s and adult’s books. He has written more than 300 titles and contributed to or edited another 150.

Born in Warrington, Parker attended Strodes College, Egham and gained a BSc First Class Honours in Zoology at the University of Wales, Bangor. He worked as an exhibition scientist at the Natural History Museum, and as editor and managing editor at Dorling Kindersley Publishers, and commissioning editor at medical periodical GP, before becoming a freelance writer in the late 1980s. He is a Senior Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London. Parker is based in Suffolk with his family.

Publishing work

Parker’s writing career began with 10 early titles in Dorling Kindersley’s multi-award-winning Eyewitness series, from the late 1980s to the late 1990s. He has since worked for more than a dozen children’s book publishers and been shortlisted for, among others, the Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize, Times Educational Information Book of the Year, and Blue Peter Book Award.

In 2009 he co-wrote The Complete Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils of the World, with John Farndon, (Lorenz Educational Press)

In 2013 Parker’s title Science Crazy (QED) won the UK School Library Association’s Information Book Award, and Fizzing Physics (QED) won the Hampshire Information Book Award.

Parker also writes adult books, recently including Extinction: Not the End of the World? (Natural History Museum, 2013), the million-selling The Human Body Book (Second Edition, Dorling Kindersley, 2013) and Kill or Cure, an Illustrated History of Medicine (Dorling Kindersley, 2013.) 

In 2014 Kill or Cure entered the New York Times Science Bestsellers and also won the 2014 British Medical Association Book Award for Public Understanding of Science.

In 2015 Parker was general editor of Evolution: The Whole Story (Thames and Hudson), heading a team of 12 expert authors in paleontology, paleobiology and paleoecology. Popular weekly New Scientist described the work as ‘highly accessible … such an attractive and friendly book … the approach breathes life into everything, including “boring” stuff (that is, non-dinosaur stuff) … bright, breezy and modern’.

In 2016 Parker produced two of the largest and most complex titles of his career, Medicine: The Definitive Visual History (Dorling Kindersley), and BODY: The infographic book of us (Aurum Press) with graphic designer, illustrator and academic Andrew Baker. He also continued his collaboration with London’s Natural History Museum with publication of Colour and Vision: Through the Eyes of Nature. 2017 saw further titles including A Brief Illustrated History of Life on Earth (Raintree) with specialist illustrator David West, and books on dinosaurs, oceans and seas, and robots and gadgets. In 2018 Parker received the School Library Information Book award for the second time, for In Focus: Seas and Oceans (Kingfisher).

Educational work

Parker travels extensively around Britain to hold talks, workshops and book signings at schools, libraries and science events.

Information retrieved from Wikipedia.

Rebekah Brooks (Journalist and Editor) 1968-

Born 27 May 1968

Rebekah Mary Brooks (née Wade) is a British media executive and former journalist and newspaper editor. Rebekah Mary Wade was born in. Wade grew up in Daresbury, to the south of Warrington, where her parents ran a tree pruning business. Her father, John Robert Wade, died age 50 in Warrington in 1996.

She has been chief executive officer of News UK since 2015. She was previously CEO of News International from 2009 to 2011 and was the youngest editor of a British national newspaper at News of the World, from 2000 to 2003, and the first female editor of The Sun, from 2003 to 2009. Brooks married actor Ross Kemp in 2002. They divorced in 2009 and she married former racehorse trainer and author Charlie Brooks.

Brooks was a prominent figure in the News International phone hacking scandal, having been the editor of the News of the World from 2000 to 2003 when one of the stories which involved illegal phone hacking was published by the newspaper. Following a criminal trial in 2014 she was cleared of all charges by a jury at the Old Bailey, which accepted her defence that in the circumstances she had no knowledge of the illegal acts carried out by staff at the newspaper.

In September 2015, Brooks was confirmed as CEO of News UK, the renamed News International, re-establishing the working relationship with Rupert Murdoch, founder and chairman of News Corp, and founder and executive chairman of American conservative cable news channel Fox News.

Early life

When she was 14, she decided she wanted to be a journalist and would make tea at her local newspaper and help out generally. She attended Appleton Hall High School – a state comprehensive school that had previously been a grammar school – in Appleton, Warrington. A childhood friend, Louise Weir, described her as “more emotionally intelligent than academic”, charming and always able to get what she wanted out of people.

In Brooks’s entry in Who’s Who, she stated that she had studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, but did not claim to have a degree, and did not later answer questions about this. In a 2003 Spectator article, Stephen Glover suggested that, since she was working at the age of 20 for the News of the World, “we can safely assume that she did not study at the Sorbonne in any meaningful way”. In 2010, Brooks was awarded an honorary Fellowship from the University of the Arts, London, for her contribution to journalism. She attended the London College of Communication, now part of the university, as a student.

The commentator Henry Porter claims little is known of Brooks personally. Tim Minogue, who was one of her first co-editors before becoming a journalist at Private Eye magazine, recalled a “likeable, skinny, hollow-eyed girl who was very ambitious”.


After school, she worked for the French magazine L’architecture d’aujourd’hui in Paris, before returning to Britain to work for Eddy Shah’s Messenger Group. Graham Ball, the then features editor at The Post newspaper, recalled that she was a notably astute and intelligent staff member. When The Post was disbanded, Brooks then moved to the News of the World.

In her time, Brooks was no stranger to controversy, including stories about Princess Diana, the mental health of former boxer Frank Bruno and the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, where journalist illegally obtained phone conversations of celebrities and Milly Dowler, a missing schoolgirl who was later found murdered. On 24 June 2014, Rebekah Brooks was cleared of all charges related to the phone hacking The scandal eventually led to the newspaper being shut down.

In September 2015, Brooks was reappointed as CEO of the company, now named News UK. In January 2020, it was announced she would become a board member at Tremor International Limited.