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Major scoop reporter receives community honour

A reporter who once obtained the first interview with Sir John Major after he became Prime Minster has been honoured for his service to the local community.

Julian Makey covers the Huntingdon area for the Huntingdon, St Ives & St Neots News & Crier and the Cambridge News.

He has now been given the Paul Harris Fellowship award for service to the community by his local Rotary Club.

Huntingdon Rotary Club member Malcolm Lyons said Julian’s service to the community and local newspapers was “close to unique.”

His editor on the News & Crier Alex Day described Julian as “a one-man Huntingdonshire encyclopaedia.”

“I’m sure he could bash out great local stories in his sleep.  It seems there’s no one he doesn’t know and his anecdotes are plentiful!

Julian, from Godmanchester, said: “I certainly did not expect anyone to highlight the work I have done covering Huntingdonshire for nearly 40 years and it is very rewarding that they have done so.

“I believe that quality local newspapers are a crucial part of community life and probably have more of a direct impact on people’s lives than national newspapers, which is why I have always wanted to cover my home town.”

Perhaps the greatest scoop of his 40-year career came from a long-standing relationship with former Huntingdon MP Sir John.

When the leadership crisis that ended Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister began, Julian asked Mr Major for an interview. His reply was simple: “If I get in.”

A few days later the world’s press were in Downing Street and hungry for Major’s first words as Prime Minister.

A press officer emerged from Number 11, where Major was living as Chancellor, without the usual cocksure strut, clearly a little baffled by the instructions he had just received.

The press pack surged forward. “Is there anyone here from the Cambridge Evening News?” he asked.

Out of the throng, Julian jostled forward: “Julian Makey, Cambridge Evening News.”

“Right this way sir,” – and he was in.

He sat with the Prime Minister and his wife Norma in Number 11 and got his interview.

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  • May 9, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Julian is a lovely man and a great reporter.
    And Alex is right – he knows Huntingdonshire like nobody else.

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