George Gale (journalist)

George Gale (1927-1990) was a British journalist who was editor of the British political magazine The Spectator from 1970 to 1973. He was educated at the independent Royal Grammar School, Newcastle and Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, from where he graduated with a double-first in History.

In 1951 he joined Manchester Guardian as a leader writer and reporter on Labour Affairs. In 1955 he moved to the Daily Express where he remained until 1967 (he returned there 1976-86) when he joined the Daily Mirror for three years until he took up the position at The Spectator.

His time at The Spectator is best remembered for his support of Enoch Powell and his appointment of Peter Ackroyd as its literary critic. After Auberon Waugh changed Gale's name in the published list of contributors to either "Lunchtime O'Booze" or "Lunchtime O'Gale" (accounts vary, but "Lunchtime O'Booze" is the Private Eye term for the archetypal drunken journalist), Waugh was sacked from The Spectator by its then editor Nigel Lawson. Gale, ironically, invited Waugh back after he had become editor.

He also enjoyed long stint as a columnist on The Daily Mail and in the mid 1980s was a regular panellist on the revived version of television's What's My Line?. Gale's fondness for alcohol was also reflected in Private Eye's habit of referring to him as "George G. Ale".

Gale also presented a morning phone-in programme in the early days of LBC, a commercial radio station in London.


  • Dennis Griffiths The Encyclopedia of the British Press 1492-1992, 1992, Macmillan

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