Lockdown sailed past when I had the notion of writing my memoir Pressing My Luck about my 44-year career in Fleet Street. Now the 90,000-word book is published by Amazon I am undergoing a crash course in modern media of the genre which has passed me by hitherto.
My gorgeous daughters Cate and Georgia have got me tweeting, blogging and revealing my all on a website. My quiet life in the sleepy suburb of Ealing is all but over!
My old acquaintance Piers Morgan apparently loves the book and is planning to tweet about it. As he has 7.5 million followers – I have a dozen or so at present – this may create an explosion. Lorraine Kelly has also emailed me that she loved the book.
I was threatening to write a novel – to my wife Linda’s horror. She ends up having to google a million facts for me when I am in writing mode. However this new life on the net may be sufficient to keep me busy for months.
Being a little old-fashioned it is not natural or normal for me to blow my own trumpet. But if the wind section of the Mackenzie orchestra is currently deficient, here goes.
My Ronnie Biggs story was recently nominated as one of the ten best scoops of the 20th century, according to the UK Press Gazette, Fleet Street’s trade magazine. And all the background is in Pressing My Luck.
I interviewed Richard Nixon in London in 1966 after he had just lost the vote to be Governor of California. Within seven years I was covering the Watergate story in Washington which resulted two years later in President Nixon’s impeachment.
At end of 1985 I was able to marry my hobby and my job when I became one of the founder reporters on the new paper The Racing Post. By the end of 1988 I had returned to the Daily Mail to be their racing correspondent for the next 20 years.
I had a very lucky career. Even in retirement I have been able to make three acclaimed documentaries for television. And my luck as a racehorse owner has turned full circle with a small share in the wonderful flat horse Trueshan who won, under Hollie Doyle, the Champions Day Stayers title at Ascot in October.
Late wire; Hello magazine has recommended Pressing My Luck as a “riveting” read in their Don’t Miss This Week column. Thank you to those responsible.
Hope you all enjoy Pressing My Luck (£9.99 and £5.99 on kindle) as much as I enjoyed writing it.