the lid on FLEET STREET...
important book," The Guardian
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of The Fleet Street Sewer Rat
Publisher’s foreword by John McVicar
Chapter 1 Walk like the “big Egyptian”: Hamilton-v-Fayed
Chapter 2 It Wasn’t Me, says Fayed
Chapter 3 Benji and the Binmen: how it all began
Chapter 4 The Queen of Rock: Sir Elton John
Chapter 5 Don’t Go Breaking My Heart: Elton's split from his manager
Chapter 6 Something About the Way You Look Tonight: Elton’s private
dick snares a snoop
Chapter 7 Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word: ‘Nevershreds’
Chapter 8 Saints and Sinners: All Saints
Chapter 9 Let Me Entertain You: Robbie, Nicole and other celebs
Chapter 10 Born to Run: Jonathan Aitken
Chapter 11 Mad for It: carry on bin raiding
Chapter 12 Spinning Around: 10 Downing Street and other heavy-weight victims
Chapter 13 Reach for the Stars: bidding for fame and fortune
Chapter 14 Sunday, Bloody Sunday: the Saville inquiry
Chapter 15 Runaround: the binman plays dumb
Chapter 16 Getting Away with It: perjury in the High Court
Chapter 17 Escapology: Express Crusader’s sword turns to jelly
Trash-Can Dream: the epilogue
ON THE FLEET STREET SEWER RAT
any student of the modern media, and for every journalism course in the country,
this book is absolutely essential reading," Kevin Cahill, freelance
investigative journalist who exposed how Jonathan Aitken sat on the board
of a British arms company when it supplied naval guns to Iran.
is the most dangerous man on Fleet Street," Piers Morgan, former
editor of The Mirror, speaking about the book on 'Breakfast With
Frost’, BBC1, 13.03.05.
Fleet Street Sewer Rat is an important book, mainly because of the world
that it brushes over and the detail on how several major newspaper stories
have been constructed and presented to the public... The Sewer Rat book accurately
portrays the atmosphere of paranoia that you detect around many media organisations,
and it demonstrates how rumours, half truths, and speculation - as well as
information that has been stolen or simply invented to make a story appear
to stand up - are traded on a regular basis." Julian Henry, director
of Henry's House PR consultancy, The Guardian, 04.04.05.
Guardian, which sneered at other newspapers including The Sunday
Times for using material gathered by Pell, is said to have secretly used
him to its advantage. The book claims Pell targeted Harkavys, Jonathan Aitken's
solicitor, after The Guardian and Granada Television had run up a
£2.2m legal bill successfully defending a libel action against the former
minister." The Sunday Times 13.03.05.
this book about legendary bin scavenger Benji Pell, it's time for the Press
to clean up its act," Press Gazette 15.04.05.
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THIS is the story that
“Fleet Street” would rather not be told. Despite the apparent
fearlessness of tabloids and broadsheets alike in exposing the antics of the
rich, the famous and the powerful, they would rather this particular “stone”
be left unturned.
For underneath this stone – in the pit of the gutter –
lies some of the most tawdry and questionable activities of members of the
British Press. The Fleet Street Sewer Rat, a fascinating and revealing
book written by an “insider”, does not flinch from shedding light
on Fleet Street’s grubbiest corner.
BIN: Fleet Street,
the UK Press is named after its erstwhile base
Its central character is Benjamin
Pell, better known as “Benji the Binman”. He made his fortune
– and became infamous – by raiding the rubbish of lawyers and
other professional advisers to famous clients and then selling documents he
scavenged to the Press – and others.
Mohamed Al Fayed and Sir Richard Branson are among those who also received
the “fruits” of his nocturnal prowling. Sir Elton John, All Saints,
Robbie Williams, Jonathan Aitken, Neil Hamilton as well as, er, Mohammed Al
Fayed and Sir Richard Branson, are among the long list of famous people who
fell victim to him, and all of whom feature in this book.
A thief, a cheat and a liar, Pell is possessed of a formidable intelligence
who lives on the edge of madness. A High Court judge described his method
of making a living as “despicable” and “contemptible”.
Among other epithets that Pell has attracted, he has been dubbed a human dung
The book exposes his activities as well as lifting the stone from muck-raking
journalism in Britain at its very best, at its very worst, and at its most
The book is for anyone interested in Britain’s media industry:
how journalism works, how the Press digs out stories, and how the media has
become enfeebled in its capability of covering serious news.
It is for anyone interested in current affairs, in the showbiz world
and the celebrities who inhabit it, and the stories behind some of the biggest
headlines over the past few years. It does have a lot of literals due to editing
mistakes, but the strength of the source material makes this book highly revelatory.
For journalists and students of journ-alism, as well as media lawyers,
this book is required reading. It provides a unique insight into investigative
journalism in practice, how media law works in reality, and the often rancorous
politics of newspapers.
It sheds light on Britain's most high-profile public-relations "middle
man", Max Clifford, who sometimes helped Pell to sell his smelly stories
The recommended retail price of this hardback book, published by Artnik
Books, is £12.99.
However, you can buy a copy for just £10 (with FREE postage and
packaging in the UK) direct from the author, Mark Watts, by completing and
sending the short online order form to the right of this one-page website...