From an embarrassing encounter with Jim Callaghan (and his impressive member) in the gentlemen's toilet of the Savoy Hotel to the time he was almost throttled by Angela's Ashes author Frank McCourt, John McEntee's career has been nothing if not colourful. After reporting on the IRA terror campaign while a correspondent for the Irish Press, John soon found his home on London's gossip circuit. With one ear always on the alert for scandalous remarks and titillating tit-bits of conversation, John was launched into a world of endless cocktail parties, book launches and openings, first as the author of the Mail 's spiky Wicked Whispers gossip column and then as what turned out to be the last ever William Hickey columnist on the Daily Express. Glamour and celebrity encounters aside, whoever said the job of a gossip columnist was easy has obviously never had to pick up the bill at El Vino after a drunken Kingsley Amis has spent the afternoon working his way through the whisky menu. Gloriously entertaining and wonderfully indiscreet, John McEntee's enchanting autobiography is a veritable goldmine of anecdotal gems from one of the true denizens of Fleet Street.
John McEntee works on the Ephraim Hardcastle column of the Daily Mail. Previously, he was briefly sighted (before and after lunch) over a ten-year period at the Daily Express, and was the last editor of that once great newspaper's long-running and famed William Hickey gossip column. Starting his career on The Anglo-Celt, a weekly provincial newspaper in his native Cavan in the Irish midlands, over the years he has worked for a number of nationals, including the Evening Standard, The Times, the Sunday Express and the Daily Express. McEntee also spent fifteen years as a regular Sky News newspaper reviewer and co-wrote, with Keith Waterhouse and others, the hugely successful Book of Useless Information. John's pastimes are talking, drinking and lighting candles in churches.