AddThis SmartLayers

Newsroom howlers to make you shudder

We’ve all been there – asking that question that makes you want the ground to open up and swallow you.

The following “office quotes” were supplied by Jeremy Condliffe, editor of the Congleton Chronicle series:

“I used to work at the Accrington Observer, and at the office party at Christmas we had to make a speech. I saved these all year for mine…

  • Talking to the coroner’s officer about a dead drink driver…
    “And was that alcohol in the blood or in his breath?”
    Coroner’s Officer: “They don’t breathe when they’re dead you know.”
  • “Jean Harlow? Wasn’t that Marilyn Monroe’s real name?”
  • “Is New Zealand hundreds of miles away or thousands?”
  • On the spellchecker: “I’ve pressed my dic and nothing happened.”
  • “Has anyone heard of this priest, Father James Riley… oh, sorry… it’s given away by her father, James Riley.”
  • And the council press release: “Have you ever fancied trying your hand at orienteering and didn’t know where to go?”

    My best golden wedding tale was the old copper I interviewed, who looked like Dixon of Dock Green. Reminiscing, he told me of his younger days when he was called out to a ‘domestic’ and found the husband behaving aggressively.

    “What happened?”, I asked naively, expecting a Dixonesque answer involving sympathetic words from an old-fashioned copper.

    The reply: “I kicked him in the b******s and threw him downstairs.”

    More contributions have come from David Colville, at The News, Portsmouth.

    He recalls, from his days at the Southern Daily Echo: “A story was plucked from the wire about a Sikh who was hanged, but whose supporters managed to cut him down before he died. The unfortunate then asked his followers not to exact revenge on the lynch mob. Headline: “Hanged Sikh appeals for calm”.

    “One to which I wholeheartedly confess was when a man committed suicide by hanging himself. I wrote: Isle of Wight man hangs himself. At least I thought I did. It appeared in the first edition as “Isle of Wight hangs himself”.

    “I assure you the Isle of Wight is still there!

    “And an Echo small ad: Live-in companion required for elderly lady. Own room, all meals, full use of cat…”

    Do you have a blooper for us?
    Ring the HoldTheFrontPage newsdesk on
    01332 291111 x6022, or to e-mail us now – click here