Larry Lamb (newspaper editor)

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Sir Albert Lamb (15 July 1929 – 19 May 2000), commonly known as Larry Lamb, was a British newspaper editor. He introduced the Page 3 feature to The Sun (for which he was editor from 1969 to 1972, and then again from 1975 to 1981), which saw a dramatic increase in sale in the 1970s. He also applied the term 'Winter of Discontent' to the series of strikes over the winter of 1978–79. In 1985, during his time as editor of the Daily Express, Lamb declared that the unconditional release of Nelson Mandela, imprisoned ANC leader in apartheid South Africa, would be "a crass error".[1]

He was Deputy Chairman of News Group from 1979 but was transferred to the Western Mail in Australia in 1981, and edited The Australian in 1982.

Early life[edit]

Lamb was born in Fitzwilliam, West Riding of Yorkshire,[2] the son of Henry Lamb, a colliery surface blacksmith, and Coronetta Small. Called Albert, he adopted the name Larry from the lamb in Toytown, a BBC Children's Hour radio series.[2]

Lamb was educated at Rastrick Grammar School.

Journalism career[edit]

Lamb was editor of The Sun from 1969 to 1972 and again from 1975 to 1981, and also of the Daily Express from 1983 to 1986.[3][4]

He was northern editor of the Daily Mail in Manchester from 1968 until he was recruited by Rupert Murdoch to take over The Sun (recently bought from IPC). Lamb pioneered the paper's populist style, established the controversial Page 3 feature which saw sales rocket. He insisted that Page 3 models were "nice girls", as "big-breasted girls look like tarts".[4] He also applied the term 'Winter of Discontent' to the series of strikes over the winter of 1978–79. He was Deputy Chairman of News Group from 1979 but was transferred to the Western Mail in Australia in 1981, and edited The Australian in 1982. He left the Group in 1983 to work for the Daily Express, and after standing down in 1986 set up his own public relations company, Larry Lamb Associates.

Personal life[edit]

Lamb was knighted in 1980 on the recommendation of Margaret Thatcher, whose electoral success may have been helped by The Sun's coverage of the industrial strife under the previous Labour government.

His nickname was inspired by the Children's Hour character Larry the Lamb. After he received his knighthood, Private Eye magazine usually referred to him as "Sir Larrold Lamb."

Lamb died on 19 May 2000, aged 70. He had been in poor health since suffering a heart attack in 1992.[3][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Conservative party's uncomfortable relationship with Nelson Mandela". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Albert Lamb Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004; accessed 17 June 2012
  3. ^ a b Ezard, John (20 May 2000). "Former Sun editor Larry Lamb dies, aged 71". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Sir Larry Lamb". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). 20 May 2000. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
Media offices
Preceded by
Christopher Ward
Editor of Daily Express
1983–1986
Succeeded by
Sir Nicholas Lloyd
Preceded by
Dick Dinsdale
Editor of The Sun
1969–1972
Succeeded by
Bernard Shrimsley
Preceded by
Bernard Shrimsley
Editor of The Sun
1975–1981
Succeeded by
Kelvin MacKenzie