Chapman Pincher was ballyhooed by his own newspaper, The London Daily Express, as the world’s greatest reporter, and he introduced himself as such. He insinuated himself into the murky world of spy chiefs, generals, politicians and royalty by taking them to lunch at a fine French restaurant, say, or joining them for pheasant hunting and salmon fishing.
His reward was 40 years of scoops about double agents, secret weapons and the inner workings of governments. In 1966, not bothering to wait four more years, his paper called him its reporter of the decade. His best tributes came perhaps from his enemies.
“Can nothing be done to suppress or get rid of Pincher?” Prime Minister Harold Macmillan wrote to his defense minister in 1959.