John Blake (journalist)
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|Born||November 6, 1948|
|Occupation||journalist and publisher|
Beginning as a pop columnist for the London Evening News in the early 1970s, his work developed into a column titled "Ad Lib", a gossip column and lifestyle guide. It survived the merger of the Evening News with the Evening Standard. In 1976 he wrote a book about the Rolling Stones's 'Up and Down with the Rolling Stones' with their drug dealer 'Spanish Tony' Sanchez which became a best seller.
Blake was the first editor of 'Bizarre', a column in The Sun launched in May 1982 concentrating on celebrity gossip. A tug-of-war subsequently ensued over Blake between The Sun owner Rupert Murdoch and Daily Mirror owner Robert Maxwell. Maxwell won the bidding war and Blake launched a pop column called "White Hot Club". He was Assistant Editor for the Daily Mirror between 1984 and 1988.
Blake then became editor of Maxwell's Sunday People in 1988, an appointment which lasted until Maxwell decided to appoint a female editor. Blake found himself President of the Mirror Group in the USA in the run-up to Maxwell's anticipated purchase of the National Enquirer, a job which imploded when Maxwell failed to complete the deal. Blake was a producer for Sky TV in 1990.
John Blake Publishing
He gravitated towards publishing and 'Blake Publishing' was founded in 1991, with Blake working in partnership with his brother, David Blake. After an acrimonious dissolution of the original partnership in March 2002, John Blake went solo. Six months after the company started, he was joined by journalist Rosie Virgo, who went on to become the company's managing director. In 1998 the company published autobiographies by notorious street fighters, Lenny McLean and Roy "Pretty Boy" Shaw. Both books topped The Sunday Times bestseller list. In 2004, Being Jordan by Katie Price was published by Blake after larger firms had rejected the book. While the advance to Price was £10,000, the book, ghost written by Rebecca Farnworth, sold a million copies.
In August 2008 a book published by JBP, On Her Majesty's Service under the name of Ronald Evans, a former bodyguard of Sir Salman Rushdie, had a Declaration of Falsity made against it by a Judge in the High Court for the inclusion of 11 "serious falsehoods" defaming Rushdie. Rushdie did not seek any damages in his legal action.
In 2005 the company won a British Book Award ('Nibbie') as Small Publisher of the Year. In 2010 the company won a second 'Nibbie' as well as the IPA Award for Independent Publisher of the Year. The company is also known for being one of the main publishers of football hooligan memoirs, including Cass by Cass Pennant, Massive Attack by Trevor Tanner and Undesirables by Manchester United hooligan Colin Blaney.
- Danuta Kean "John Blake: Gentleman John", The Bookseller, 13 September 2001, as reproduced on Danuta Kean's website.
- Ciar Byrne "Newton returns to edit Bizarre", The Guardian, 18 November 2002
- "John Blake Esq Authorised Biography", Debrett's
- Kercher, John (September 15, 1996). "Printing his own money Hard profit". Mail on Sunday.
- Carter, Meg (June 19, 2001). "Media: My Other Job is Journalism; When Journalists Write Books, Serialisation Rights Can Mean Big Money. Gentleman's Agreements Don't Apply.". The Independent. p. 9.
- David Sexton "Katie Price knows how to kiss and sell", Evening Standard, 2 September 2009
- "Bodyguard apologises to Rushdie", BBC News, 26 August 2008
- Mary Jordan "Rushdie Shoots Down Book's False Claims", Washington Post, 27 August 2008
- Matt Hughes "Movies battling over hooligans", Evening Standard, 2 June 2003
- Redhead, Steve (2014). The Firm: Towards A Study of 400 Football Hooligan Gangs. Charles Sturt University. pp. 26–45.
- Company website
- Publishing commentator Danuta Kean interview with John Blake.
- Interview as The Celebrity Man with John Blake
|Editor of the Sunday People