Hugh Cudlipp has, for more than 30 years, been one of the most outstanding journalists of his generation. He steered the Daily Mirror group from an early reputation for brashness and bare breasts to a position as the most powerful group of newspapers in the world. He became the terror of the Establishment; the pressure in politicians' lives; the man who, under the banner 'Forward with the People,' favoured only the underdog, attacked always the Establishment. He has been rude to Royalty and prime ministers -and remained friendly with both. He started in journalism at 14, was a national newspaper editor at 24 and now, at 60, has decided to retire because 'it would be an unpardonable vanity to continue.'
He is the first of the Mirror group's chiefs to go quietly. His predecessors, Cecil Harmsworth King and Harry Guy Bartholomew, were noisily and bloodily axed from the boardroom. He is, perhaps, the last of the great campaigning romantic editors. In the boardroom, on his yacht, with the politicians and the journalists who shape our lives today, he talks revealingly to Desmond Wilcox about his failures, his rows, his successes and his regrets.