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Chief reporter leaves industry after 30 years as wife takes new deputy editor role

A chief reporter has bowed out of the industry after 30 years as his deputy editor wife prepares to take on a new role.

Adrian Darbyshire is stepping down as chief reporter at Isle of Man Newspapers, where he had worked since October 2004.

Adrian’s departure comes as his wife Jackie Darbyshire, deputy editor at the same newspapers, prepares to become second in command at the Shetland Times.

Adrian, 55, worked for news agencies, national papers and local evening and weekly papers in Manchester, Lancashire and Birmingham since 1991 and was news editor at Blackpool daily The Gazette before moving to the Isle of Man.

Adrian and Jackie Darbyshire

Adrian and Jackie Darbyshire

He told IOM Today: “This is my 30th year in journalism, so I’ve covered a lot of stories – I’ve interviewed political leaders, reported on party conferences and high profile criminal trials, received death threats from drugs gangs, exposed paedophiles and went undercover for the News of the World.

“I remember taking a call one day about a hamster in a toy dragster causing havoc on Blackpool Prom.

“In my very first job I used a typewriter and you could hardly hear yourself think. Technology is a big difference – remote working on laptops, the rise of the internet, shooting videos on our mobiles, the use of emails and the challenge to our industry from social media.

“When I started in the 1990s I would spend about 90% of my time out of the office and phone in copy from a call box. It’s now more of a desk job.”

Adrian added: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here but I think that it’s very sad that the number of staff working here is a fraction of what it was back in 2004.

“I think that it’s important for democracy that the news media “keeps an eye” on politicians and local authorities. It’s also important to cover the courts and ensure justice is seen to be done.

“It’s human nature that if people think that they can get away with things, they will do.”