Posted: May 11th, 2011
George Harrop, former Northern Night Picture Editor of the Daily Mirror, renowned wit and master of great one line jokes has died, the day after his 80th birthday.
A World War 2 Burma veteran, George began his journalistic career on the Picture Desk of the Daily Express in the early fifties. He was invited to join the Express team by the formidable, sharp-tongued ‘Strangler’ Lewis, the Northern Editor.
But the Strangler’s sharp tongue was no match for George’s wit.
Once Strangler roared ” George, get off the bloody phone.”
“Have to go”, said George in a voice everybody in the newsroom heard, “the Editor wants permission to change a crosshead.”
In 1956, when the Mirror began printing in the North, George joined the new editorial team as Night Picture Editor, a post he held for nearly thirty years. At the Mirror he further honed his wit and keen observation of colleagues.
His description of two reporters, one a hypochondriac and the other always yawning as SICK and TIRED was typical.
On song his tongue was sharpened down both sides.
The defence correspondent was boasting of his coverage of the Falklands War.
George asked, “How long were you there?”
“I’ve had longer lunchbreaks,” said George.
Here follows one of George Harrop’s last, but very memorable quips.
The doctor treating him said, “George by the state of your liver I take it that you’re a whisky drinker, a bottle a week perhaps?
George indignantly —– “Dear Boy – I spill more than that !”
Good Old George.
By Ray Weaver
Report and picture from FRANK THORNE
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