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Hubert "Hugh" Kinsman Cudlipp, Baron Cudlipp, OBE (28 August 1913 – 17 May 1998), was a Welsh journalist and newspaper editor noted for his work on the Daily Mirror in the 1950s and 60s.

Life and careerEdit

Hugh Cudlipp was born, the youngest of three sons, in Cardiff. [1] He left the Howard Gardens High School for boys (later Howardian High School) at the age of fourteen, working for a number of short-lived local newspapers before transferring at age sixteen to Manchester and a job on the Manchester Evening Chronicle. In 1932, aged nineteen, he moved to London to take up a position as features editor of the Sunday Chronicle. In 1935, he joined the staff of the Daily Mirror.[2]

He was editor of the Sunday Pictorial (later renamed the Sunday Mirror) from 1937 to 1940 and 1946 to 1949. Between these two period, he saw war service with the Royal Sussex Regiment, and was involved in the First Battle of El Alamein.[1] He was head of the army newspaper unit for the Mediterranean from 1943 to 1946, and oversaw the launch of a British forces' paper, Union Jack,[1] modelled on the US Stars and Stripes. He thereafter returned to the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Pictorial until 1949; when owing to disagreements with his then boss, Harry Guy Bartholomew, he left to take the post of managing editor of the Sunday Express for a two-year stint. By 1951, Bartholomew had left, replaced by Cecil King, who reappointed Cudlipp; and with whom, Cudlipp enjoyed a good working relationship for many years.[2]

In 1952, Cudlipp was made Editorial Director of the Sunday Pictorial and the Daily Mirror, in the period in which the latter sustained its position as one of the best-selling of British newspapers. Roy Greenslade identifies Cudlipp as the mastermind of the paper's editorial formula, responsible for design, choice of campaigns, gimmicks, stunts, and author of iconic headlines.[3]

Cudlipp was Chairman of the Mirror Group of newspapers from 1963 to 1967, where he oversaw the 1964 launch, as a broadsheet, of The Sun. Intended to replace the failing Daily Herald, the choice of format was to prevent it encroaching on Daily Mirror sales.[2] The paper was not successful and, in 1969, was sold to Rupert Murdoch, who turned it into a tabloid imitator of and competitor to the Daily Mirror; by 1978, it was outselling the Mirror.

From 1968 to his retirement in 1973, he was Chairman of the International Publishing Corporation. His brothers Percy Cudlipp and Reginald Cudlipp were also national newspaper editors.

Cudlipp was knighted in 1973 and created Baron Cudlipp, of Aldingbourne in the County of West Sussex in 1974. Initially a Labour peer, he joined the nascent Social Democratic Party in 1981.

In 1974, director/producer John Goldschmidt made the documentary film Telling It Like It Is: Cudlipp's Crusade, featuring Hugh Cudlipp about the "state of the nation", for ATV.[4] The IBA[5] insisted that the film was withdrawn from transmission so as not to conflict with legislation on broadcasting in periods just before general elections.[6] The script of the film was instead published in sections by several newspapers. The film was finally transmitted on ITV after the election.

Personal lifeEdit

His first wife was Edith Parnell, who in 1929, when only a 16-year-old schoolgirl, had become the second person to swim across the Bristol Channel from Penarth to Weston-super-Mare.[7] She died in 1938.[8] His second wife, Eileen Ascroft, whom he married in 1945, died in 1962.[1][8] The following year, he married Joan Latimer Hyland, known as Jodi, who died in August 2017.[9]


After his death his widow, Jodi, joined with former colleagues from the British press to found the Cudlipp Trust with the aim of "education and furthering the interests and standing of journalism".[10] The trust organises the annual Hugh Cudlipp Lecture and student journalism prize.[9]

Between 1999 and 2004, the lecture was given at the London Press Club, then between 2005 and 2015, it was hosted at the London College of Communication. In 2016 it returned to the London Press Club. Delivering the 2005 lecture Michael Grade, then Chairman of the BBC described Cudlipp as "one of the giants of British journalism and one of its greatest editors."[11]

The British Press Awards gives an annual "Hugh Cudlipp Award".[12]

Hugh Cudlipp LectureEdit

The speakers for each year are as follows:

Publications by CudlippEdit

  • Publish and be Damned: The Astonishing Story of the "Daily Mirror" (1953)
  • At your peril: A mid-century view of the exciting changes of the Press in Britain,and a Press view of the exciting changes of mid-century (1962)
  • Walking on the Water (1976) - an autobiography
  • The Prerogative of the Harlot: Press Barons and Power (1980)
  • Cudlipp and be Damned! A 'British Journalism Review' collection of writing by Hugh Cudlipp to celebrate the centenary of the 'Daily Mirror' on 2 November 2003 (2003) - posthumous

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography remarks that Publish and be Damned and At your peril were rumoured to be ghosted works.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Griffiths, Dennis, ed. (1992). The Encyclopedia of the British Press, 1422–1992. London & Basingstoke: Macmillsn. pp. 178–79.
  2. ^ a b c d Howard, Anthony (2004). "Cudlipp, Hubert Kinsman (Hugh), Baron Cudlipp (1913–1998), journalist and publishing executive". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/69790. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  3. ^ Roy Greenslade, "Why all journalists should read Cudlipp's Publish and be Damned!", The Guardian, 8 December 2009
  4. ^ Telling It Like It Is: Cudlipp's Crusade, BFI Film & TV Database
  5. ^ "Be Damned If You Publish", New Law Journal, vol.124, No.5666, 19 September 1974, p. 853
  6. ^ Transmission dates: Telling It Like It Is: Cudlipp's Crusade, BFI Film & TV Database
  7. ^ BookOxygen Wonder Girls by Catherine Jones Archived 6 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ a b "Miss Eileen Ascroft". The Times. 30 April 1962. Retrieved 16 August 2017. (subscription required)
  9. ^ a b Greenslade, Roy (16 August 2017). "Lady Cudlipp obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  10. ^ "THE HUGH CUDLIPP TRUST :: OpenCharities". Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  11. ^ Michael Grade, Making the important interesting: BBC journalism in the 21st Century - The Cudlipp Lecture, London College of Communications, 24 January 2005
  12. ^ Press Gazette, Roll of Honour Archived 16 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 24 July 2011
  13. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Michael Grade Hugh Cudlipp Lecture". Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  14. ^ "Andrew Marr to deliver Cudlipp lecture - Journalism News from HoldtheFrontPage". HoldTheFrontPage. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Mail editor slams 'Orwellian' BBC". BBC. 23 January 2007. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Alastair Campbell: The Cudlipp Lecture". The Independent. 29 January 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  17. ^ "Cudlipp lecture: Sun editor Rebekah Wade's full speech | Press Gazette". Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  18. ^ Rusbridger, Alan; Wells, Matt; Gallagher, y (25 January 2010). "Video: Alan Rusbridger on the future of digital media". the Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  19. ^, retrieved 22 October 2015 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^, retrieved 22 October 2015 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ "Sir Harold Evans' 2013 Hugh Cudlipp lecture - full written version | Press Gazette". Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  22. ^, retrieved 22 October 2015 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ "David Walsh on Lance Armstrong: My battle for truth about his doping was worth it". mirror. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  24. ^, retrieved 22 October 2015 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ "Hugh Cudlipp Lecture: Students scoop journalism award with Scots Independence referendum video". mirror. 3 February 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  26. ^ "Kevin Maguire to give the Hugh Cudlipp Lecture in 2016". mirror. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  27. ^ Greenslade, Roy (15 December 2015). "Kevin Maguire to deliver Hugh Cudlipp lecture in its new home". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  28. ^ Bartlett, Nicola (30 March 2017). "Trump waging 'culture war' on the free press: James Naughtie's Cudlipp Lecture". mirror. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  29. ^ Harding, Janes (22 March 2018). "James Harding's Hugh Cudlipp lecture in full". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2018.

External linksEdit

Media offices
Preceded by
David Grant
Stuart Campbell
Phil Zec
Editor of the Sunday Pictorial
Succeeded by
Stuart Campbell
Phil Zec
Colin Valdar