Today’s visit to The Westmorland Gazette editorial office was more than usually exciting.
It’s usually pretty interesting for a humble Lake District cartoonist such as myself.
The relentlessly high-tech office always has a hushed air of concentration, underpinned by a vibrant undercurrent of tension as some of the nation’s finest journalists relentlessly pursue the slenderest of news leads and turn them into finely crafted prose, honed to perfection for the great British public to enjoy over their cereals the following morning.
I usually shimmy into the office about 2.00 p.m. to be presented with the latest hot story as it is about to be splashed across the front page. I then take this over to the Cartoon Desk, summon a trainee journalist to sharpen all my pencils and then begin the arduous process of devising jokes to match the Olympian text.
Today was slightly different - no front page story. Well, there were a few contenders but the debate was still raging about which to use.
Fortunately, the rest of the nation was involved in following the government’s Spending Review announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Donny Osmond.
Now, it doesn’t take a huge amount of genius to figure that some aspect or other of Osmond’s review is going to feature in tomorrow’s front page lead story. However, even allowing for that, I felt a bit smug when I’d done four ideas for the paper without seeing any stories. You can see the sketches below.
Which was chosen will be revealed in tomorrow’s paper, along with a front page which will be a surprise to us all, not least me. Of course, I left the cartoon with them at 5.00 p.m. so it is entirely possible they wrote a story to fit the cartoon …