David McKie

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Full name: David McKie

Area of interest: Politics, Society, Culture

Journals/Organisation: The Guardian

Email: d.mckie@guardian.co.uk

Personal website:

Website: Guardian.co / David McKie

Blog: Comment is free...; the blog arts & entertainment

Representation: British Council (Author statement and contact details)




Education: Oxford University

Career: Joined the Guardian in 1965, became a political reporter, and was deputy editor from 1975 to 1983, when he returned to writing. He later became the paper’s chief leader writer. In recent years, he wrote the 'Smallweed' (until 10th September, 2005) and 'Elsewhere' columns (until 4th October, 2007)

Current position/role: Commentator

Other roles/Main role: Author and historian

Other activities:


Viewpoints/Insight: Emma Brockes interviews David McKie:'One of the great journalists of our time' The Guardian, 30th March 2001 (audio)

Broadcast media:


Controversy/Criticism: When I died on Wikipedia - Reports of my death, like Mark Twain's, were exaggerated. Sadly there was no Guardian obituary - 19th October 2011

Awards/Honours: Saga Award for Wit (shortlist) Jabez: The Rise and Fall of a Victorian Scoundrel, 2004; Whitbread Biography Award (shortlist) The Rise and Fall of a Victorian Scoundrel, 2004


Books & Debate:

David McKie Great British Bus Journeys.jpg

Latest work: Great British Bus Journeys: Travels Through Unfamous Places (2006) Atlantic Books, OCLC 62533166 | ISBN 1-84354-132-7



The Guardian:

Column name:

Remit/Info: Politics, Society, Culture

Section: Comment

Role: Columnist


Email: d.mckie@guardian.co.uk | wherever@btinternet.com

Personal website:

Website: Guardian.co / David McKie

Commissioning editor:

Day published: Monday

Regularity: Weekly

Column format:

Average length:


  • Plaza Joe Strummer will always have more cred than Julio Iglesias Street - While Spain and France honour foreign heroes like Joe Strummer, Britain struggles to fete even its own - 17th January 2013
  • When I died on Wikipedia - Reports of my death, like Mark Twain's, were exaggerated. Sadly there was no Guardian obituary - 20th October 2011
  • Rupert Murdoch is not the first press baron with a thirst for power - From Northcliffe to Maxwell, Murdoch has his antecedents. Yet only he succeeded in unifying the Commons against him - 14th July 2011
  • The Palestinians of Israel are poised to take centre stage - With the peace process going nowhere, common experience on both sides of the Green Line is creating a new reality - 11th November 2010
  • Getting readers off to a good start - The opening sentence of a novel should pique the curiosity. But its closing should be masterly - 5th September 2010
  • The joys of free-bus-pass days - Seeing England from a bus has been a delight, so I'm saddened by the news that people may have to wait until 65 for a free pass - 18th July 2010
  • The rail to nowhere - There are only two trains a day and no road access but there is a point to Berney Arms station - 12th July 2010
  • The great unknowns get their chapters in history - Sometimes the less famous heroes are more interesting. Their stories warrant biography, too - 26th May 2010
  • Temple of Unworthies - Stowe school's pantheon of heroes includes one man who doesn't belong. Who else might fit in? - 4th April 2010
  • Heaven on Gumboot Hill - Anarchic plotlanders from London's East End once found their country idyll in Essex, albeit sans mod cons - 7th March 2010
  • A martyr to nostomania - Whenever I go back to Leeds, a desire to return to old haunts dooms me to disappointment - 8th February
  • Yarooh!', he ejaculated - Comic-strip writers invented a wealth of linguistic terms to bring their art form to life - 28th September 2009
  • A little more conversation - The end of the London Paper leaves us free to chat on the tube. Just don't get carried away - 21st August 2009
  • Your brand goes here - Railway stations have long been named after pubs, but next stop could be Primark Paddington - 10th August 2009
  • Saved by the leptokurtosis - The language of statistics is a puzzle. But it could help us cut back on the green shoot overgrowth - 14th June 2009
  • From bad to verse - The naming of a new laureate has put poetry on the news pages – and exposed some past duds - 17th May 2009
  • Zinc, leaves and toads - All of these can save you money, according to a Victorian book on thrift (which cost only 35p) - 27th April 2009
  • Shorter and sweeter - The kind of acronyms that have spiced up our language are something Victorians sorely missed - 6th April 2009
  • Of deadly sins and dwarfs - The strange allure of the number seven has attracted film-makers, writers, and even God - 23rd February 2009
  • Just a song at twilight - It used to be that no home was complete without a piano - and the instrument accompanied our loves, our lives and our losses - 20th February 2009
  • Ride the bus, Mr Brown - If he wants real feedback, our leader should embrace his Agincourt and take the local routes - 8th January 2009
  • Proud to be provincial - Regional newspapers' sad decline is underlined by a reminder of the great influence they once had - 6th December 2008
  • Bungalow town boom - There is little left of the West Sussex settlement once labelled the Los Angeles of British cinema - 10th November 2008
  • I remember Adlestrop - Reference books may seem austere, but they can brim with charm and personality - 29th September 2008
  • Where can I find a higler? - The list of professions that have disappeared in the past century makes solemn, if poetic, reading - 1st September 2008
  • Just visiting: - The hung participle can confuse the reader - it is best avoided - Monday, 18th August 2008
  • Just visiting: - The $64,000 question: are cliches old hat? For me, the jury is still out - Monday, 11th August 2008
  • I've been, like, won over - The young could teach historical writers much about how to present invented dialogue - Monday, 4th August 2008
  • Pining for the boards - Where are they now, the true sandwich men saving sinners from hell and leading us from lust? - Monday, 21st July 2008
  • Don't forget the silent majority - Morale is at low ebb in the military, if you believe a new poll. But just how representative was the sample? - Guardian.co - Thursday, 10th July 2008
  • The poet of the poor - Ebenezer Elliott used a 'whip of words' to protest against the injustice of the Corn Laws - Monday, 7th July 2008

News & updates: