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Editor updates headshot after reader points out receding hairline

A regional daily editor has printed a more “accurately haggard” headshot of himself in his newspaper after an eagle-eyed reader’s observation.

Peter Barron, editor of the Northern Echo, has thanked the reader for “bringing me to my senses” after it was pointed out that two separate photos of him featuring different hairstyles had appeared in the same edition of the paper.

Mary Everitt, from Darlington, wrote to Peter observing that in the Echo’s 29 December edition a page six photograph of him at a recent cheque presentation contained “a much higher forehead and a much different colour (of hair)” than in the headshot found on the paper’s letters page.

As a result of Mary’s letter, Peter has now agreed to changed the photo of him which appears in the Echo as a “New Year resolution”.

Peter Barron hair

In a column on the subject, accompanied by the above ‘before and after’ picture, he wrote: “The picture of me which, for years, has appeared on the letters page and alongside my various columns, was taken several years ago and time has taken its toll.

“I confess that it is partly due to vanity that a change has been resisted, but there are also practical reasons. Most of the pages which you see in The Northern Echo these days begin their life as templates, with the relevant ‘furniture’ built in to them.

“To update my picture requires those templates being rebuilt and that, frankly, is a pain in the neck for our hard-pressed production editor.

“Therefore, replacing my youthful picture with one which is more accurately haggard has been one of those jobs which has been put to one side – until Mary Everitt sent her chillingly honest letter.

“So, one of my New Year resolutions is to get the templates changed to reflect a 53-year-old editor who is rapidly going downhill, rather than the 36-year-old editor who started out with such fresh-faced optimism.”

In the tongue-in-cheek piece, Peter also offered the below picture byline he claims to have prepared for five years’ time.


Former Northern Echo editor Peter Sands commented on the letter, saying: “My hairstyle is the same as it has been for the last 38 years. I actually quite like your current look… I have long thought hair was very overrated.”


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