For the benefit of anyone reading this who may be unfamiliar with Scottish dialect, a dog is often referred to as a “dug” – So Doug Walker sounds like a Scottish pet exercise service, hence the reason he regularly came in for a ribbing.
But bad doggy jokes aside, our Doug Walker has penned his last exclusive on behalf of Deadline Press & Picture Agency. And we’ve lost our most talented reporter in a long while.
Mr W was probably the hungriest news hound (no dog pun intended) to pass through these parts. Despite coming to journalism in his late 20s, it was clear to us that the untried, Phil Mitchell lookalike had a love of digging out wee nuggets, seeing his name in print – and an excellent line in nurturing useful contacts.
So it was to prove. During a highly productive two years he broke story after story, including half a dozen tabloid front pages in the past few months alone and a plentiful supply of Sunday paper exclusives. Along the way he also picked up an award from the National Association of Press Agencies (NAPA).
What more can you say about a reporter who, on his last day, filed this exclusive story about Hibs footballer Derek Riordan banjoing a reveller in a nightclub that he was banned from in the first place. Read the full story by clicking here.
Most of us in media land know that most reporters would have tucked this away to try impressing the new boss on day one. Doug, on the other hand, knows he will come up with plenty more like this, so did a wee turn for us at Deadline by make sure he left us this cracking yarn as a wee parting gift.
I consider Deadline fortunate for having held on to Doug for two years – and it’s no surprise The Sun eventually swooped for him. Not only is he now working for his favourite paper, he’s also joined forces once more with his partner in crime – and former Deadline News Editor - Brian Lewis.
Together they’ll form the Edinburgh office for Scotland’s biggest selling paper – and I’d predict that will be a pairing that will be breaking a lot of excellent stories in the months and years to come.
One more thing I should say about Doug – he’s not even remotely shy. A few months ago he came to me and insisted the company would have to pay for his new glasses, because he was suffering headaches when sitting in front of his screen.
The dosh was duly paid, but there’s still no sign of the specs – though I’m sure they’ll come in very handy at The Sun (who no doubt will be delighted that they don’t have to break into their millions to pay for Walker’s eyewear, since a wee agency has shelled out instead!).
Then there’s the fact that Doug can truthfully claim to have sold his mother for a story – and here’s the cutting to prove it.
However, his mother exacted revenge by supplying us with cheeky snaps of Doug – as a blonde haired schoolboy at Heriots, as well as a gratuitous shot of him naked in the bath (he hasn’t changed much).
These embarrassing snaps are included in the slide show – along with pictures of Doug’s farewell cake (which our office manager insisted had to appear on the blog).