One of this country’s most distinguished and provocative journalists will join the Examiner tomorrow as a regular columnist.
Paul Routledge, the son of a railway clerk, has spent decades writing for national newspapers including long spells at The Times and more recently The Daily Mirror.
But it was his explosive biography of Gordon Brown published in 1998 which revealed the full extent of the feud between the Chancellor and Tony Blair which electrified the nation.
This was quickly followed in 1999 with the publication of Mandy: The Unauthorised Biography of Peter Mandelson which proved even more compelling.
Its revelation about the loan of £370,000 to Mandelson from the Paymaster General, Geoffrey Robinson, led to the resignation of both ministers.
Even before those two biographies, however, ‘Routers’ had made his mark with the publication in 1993 of a devastating portrait of King Arthur, the NUM leader Arthur Scargill.
His unrelenting honesty has meant he is often in trouble.
On one memorable occasion he was presented to the Queen who was visiting The Times at a time of maximum sensitivity – the second miners’ strike was in full flow and Paul was covering it.
Paul has told me what happened next several times and I never tire of hearing it.
Her Majesty told him that she thought the strike was all down to Scargill’s vanity and Paul instinctively demurred.
With typical Yorkshire bluntness he was anxious to put his Sovereign right and explained that it was all rather more complicated than that.
Unfortunately, a royal reporter asked him what they had been talking about and Paul, not realising the media Exocet he was about to unleash, told him.
The story was all over the airwaves and newsprint within hours and it generated a huge fuss.
But it takes more than a daft row over a monarch to blunt Paul’s zeal in getting the story and his talents have always been in demand.
Examiner readers are in for a treat!