Profile: Newspaper owner Eddy Shah

Eddy Shah Eddy Shah is most well known for his newspaper Today launched in 1986

Related Stories

The motto for Eddy Shah's newspaper, Today, was "propa truth, not propaganda" and it is that which has come out in court.

Charged with six counts of raping a girl under 16 in the 1990s, he was found not guilty during a trial at the Old Bailey, following his initial arrest in 2012.

The case also involved Susan Davies, 53, of Swanley, Kent, who was cleared of 14 counts of aiding and abetting rape, indecent assault and child cruelty and Anthony Pallant, 53, of West Malling, Kent, who was cleared of six counts of rape and indecent assault.

All denied the allegations against them, but Eddy Shah was the most publicly known of the three defendants.

Selim Jehan Shah was born in Cambridge in 1944 to an English mother and Iranian father and went on to lead a varied career spanning the media, publishing, construction and hospitality sectors.

Known as Eddy, he was educated in Scotland before working as a floor manager for the BBC and later on Granada's Coronation Street and Till Death Us Do Part where he met his wife Jennifer, an actress and model.

Uninspired by his work, Shah soon moved on to the Manchester Evening News until redundancy forced him to reconsider his career and he launched his own newspaper, the Warrington Messenger, in 1983.

It became the first of a portfolio of 60 for the proprietor but was also the cause for his first spat with the trade unions after he wanted to employ staff who were not unionised .

It set him on a collision course with the National Graphical Association (NGA). Mass picketing of the paper's offices and print works followed, leading to violent clashes with riot police but NGA eventually backed down.

Death threats

During an interview in 2002 with The Observer he said: "They [trade union] came to me and said they wanted to unionise. I said, 'Fine, put it to a vote.' Six of my staff didn't want to unionise, so the unions asked me to fire them. I said I wasn't prepared to do that.

"After that I just had to get on with it, so I decided to launch a new national newspaper."

It was 1986 that Today launched, a tabloid to rival The Daily Mail and Daily Express that revolutionised the industry with colour printing.

Today newspaper logo Today became the centre of the trade union Wapping dispute in 1986

But this new technology meant fewer printing jobs such as typesetters and the strikes returned.

Known as the Wapping dispute, it lasted seven months and got personal, with Shah receiving death threats and taking delivery of five coffins at his home where he, his wife and three young children lived.

The following year Shah sold the paper but it continued through several changes of hands before ceasing in 1995.

He continued with his other publications, before he walked into the office one day and decided "I'm bored", leading to the sale of his newspaper empire in 1988 to Newsquest for £40m.

In 1989 he set up Messenger TV, an independent company which produced programmes including Capstick's Law. He moved on again in the 1990s to become the author of five books, even moving to the US to concentrate on his literary career.

On his return to the UK, he declared he was bored with his role as a novelist saying: "It wasn't as good as I thought it would be".

Shah and his wife established Messenger Leisure to run a chain of golf clubs and hotels and his latest business venture involves building eco-friendly homes at affordable prices through his Green Ladder Homes firm.

He was also heading a business consortium in Wiltshire to transform RAF Lyneham into a theme park and heritage centre although Wiltshire Council is currently considering plans by the Ministry of Defence to turn it into a £230m military training centre.

Now that this court case has ended who knows what the multifaceted Mr Shah will do next.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London



21 °C 14 °C

BBC Local Live

    Fox in bedroom 10:46:

    A fearless fox made himself at home in a Teddington bedroom, before going for a sunbathe on some garden cushions, reports the Richmond & Twickenham Times.

    The fox on a cushion

    Mary Anderson-Ford, of Lower Teddington Road, was shocked when she saw the young fox resting in her bedroom on Wednesday, and said her three cats were startled by the unexpected visit.

    Watch: Animal Farm at 60 10:36:

    It has been 60 years since the animated adaptation of George Orwell's Animal Farm - the first British animation film - by London-based animators John Halas and Joy Batchelor.

    Animal Farm

    Since then, the UK has certainly had a distinguished history in the art - from Watership Down to Wallace and Gromit.

    On This Day 10:26:

    On this day in 1795 lyric poet John Keats was born in London.

    Summer's last hoorah? 10:16:

    BBC London weather presenter Kate Kinsella tweets: Happy All Hallows' Eve world....... 21c in London possible today..... Summers last hoorah?!

    News on the hour 10:00: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The headlines this hour include:

    • Victims' groups will use their first meeting with officials from the inquiry into historical child abuse today to demand the resignation of the Lord Mayor of London as its chair.
    • London's firefighters will begin another strike this evening - the 47th in their long running dispute over changes to their pensions and plans to raise their retirement age.
    Arsene Wenger news conference 09:53: BBC Sport

    live reports on Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger as he faces the media and says midfielder Jack Wilshere is likely to miss the Gunners' home game against Burnley on Saturday.

    Arsene Wenger

    "He got a kick on his knee, it is very, very short-term," says Wenger, who also reveals that left-back Kieran Gibbs will need a fitness test.

    Have your say 09:43:

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you news, sport, travel and weather updates in one place. We'd like to know what you think.

    On this Day 09:31:

    On this Day in 1971 a terrorist bomb exploded at the top of the Post Office Tower in London.

    Fiona Woolf 09:20:

    Victims' groups are expected to tell child abuse inquiry officials Fiona Woolf should step down as its head.

    Fiona Woolf

    One victims' representative told the BBC he had "zero confidence" in the inquiry, which he said - in its current form - would be a "whitewash".

    Fiona Woolf is the current Lord Mayor of London.

    WATCH: TODAY'S WEATHER 09:12: via Facebook

    Georgina Burnett has today's weather forecast:

    Friday's weather
    News on the Hour 09:00: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The bulletin this hour includes:

    • The number of pedestrians injured in hit and runs has risen for the fourth year in a row, figures from Scotland Yard show.
    • Organisations representing victims are expected to tell officials from the inquiry into historical child abuse they want the Lord Mayor of London to resign as its chair.
    'Poppy hijab' 08:51:

    A fashion designer has created a 'poppy hijab' to commemorate the centenary of the first Muslim soldier being awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery.

    The new design

    Tabinda-Kauser Ishaq, a final year student at the University of Arts in London, also hopes the piece of clothing will give Muslim women a new way to mark Remembrance Day.

    On air 08:40: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    From 09:00 Harriet Scott, standing in for Vanessa Feltz, will be discussing a report that shows there has been a large increase in incidents of fly-tipping.

    Has rubbish been dumped where you live? Have you had to call your local authorities to get something in your area cleaned up?

    Call 020 7224 2000 or text 81333, starting your message 'London'

    Tube engineering works 08:30: Paul Murphy-Kasp Journalist, BBC London

    There are planned engineering works on London Overground and the Bakerloo Line meaning both lines will be partially close throughout the day.

    To find out more, visit BBC London's travel website.

    'Super sewer' challenge 08:20:

    A council has applied for a judicial review into plans to use a site surrounded by schools and flats for a "super sewer" on the Thames riverside.

    Chambers Wharf site for Thames tunnel The Chambers Wharf site is adjacent to flats and schools

    Southwark Council said construction at the Chambers Wharf site in Bermondsey would have a "devastating impact".

    Train delays 08:13:

    There are delays on Stansted Express and Greater Anglia routes between Bethnal Green and Liverpool Street stations because of over-running engineering works.

    For travel updates on Twitter, follow @BBCTravelAlert

    Road crash 08:05: Paul Murphy-Kasp Journalist, BBC London

    There has been a crash between a car and a bus on Chelsea Embankment meaning the Albert and Battersea Bridges have been closed and there are delays on surrounding routes.

    To find out more, visit BBC London's travel website.

    Frightfully warm Halloween 08:02:

    Early low cloud and fog patches will soon clear to leave a dry, bright and unseasonably warm Halloween with plenty of sunny spells and a southerly breeze. Maximum temperature: 21C (70F).

    08:00: Duncan Smith BBC News Online

    Good morning. I'll have the latest news, sport, travel and weather from across the capital today for BBC Local Live.

    Send your news, pictures and comments to or tweet @BBCLondonNews.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.