Killing My Own Snakes - Ann Leslie
ANN Leslie is a Fleet Street legend – a journalist who travelled with Margaret Thatcher on the General Election campaign trail, met Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev, watched Nelson Mandela walk to freedom, was there when the Berlin Wall came down, inte
ANN Leslie is a Fleet Street legend - a journalist who travelled with Margaret Thatcher on the General Election campaign trail, met Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev, watched Nelson Mandela walk to freedom, was there when the Berlin Wall came down, interviewed murderers on America's Death Row and dodged bullets and bombs in most of the world's troublespots over the past 40 years.
She met John Lennon, Tom Jones, both George Bushes, Bill Clinton, Imelda Marcos and David Niven.
She shared a flat with actress Janet Suzman, shared drugs with artist Salvador Dali, turned down a marriage proposal from actor James Mason and threw up in Indira Gandhi's toilet.
So a memoir is bound to be a fascinating read.
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And Killing My Own Snakes (�7.99, Pan) is just that.
From her early childhood as a "daughter of the Raj" in India, to being made a Dame at Buckingham Palace for services to journalism, this is, in the words of Paul O'Grady, "a cracking read".
- 1 Man found stabbed in Chadwell Heath
- 2 Dagenham man banned from keeping animals after starved pony found collapsed
- 3 Air ambulance scrambled after man 'taken ill' in Barking Park
- 4 Barking gurdwara 'thrills' after modern and traditional rebuild
- 5 Dog strips bark off trees in 'terrible act of vandalism' at park in Dagenham
- 6 Average house price in Barking and Dagenham falls from record high
- 7 Ho-ho-ho! Bingo hall gets visit from Santa for 'Junemas'
- 8 'Always smiling' former mayoress turns 100
- 9 Barking sex offender who pushed crotch into girl, 15, on Tube sentenced
- 10 Delta variant accounts for majority of Covid cases in much of east London
It is packed with anecdotes about the great, the good and the downright evil.
It is amusing and honest - if Leslie doesn't like someone, she tells us so.
She fell into the newspaper business by accident, but by the age of 22, in the swinging sixties, she was a Fleet Street columnist.
She went on to become a much-admired foreign correspondent, talking to ordinary locals in countries as diverse as Iran, Bosnia, Haiti, South Africa, China, and Israel.
- LINDSAY JONES