by Bill Coles Read profile


Red Top has everything an aspiring reporter needs to know about newspaper journalism. Written in easily digestible bite-size chapters, the book is packed with extraordinary stories that explain what it s really like to be a front-line reporter.

Included is a full breakdown on the two key skills of how to interview and how to dig up exclusives. Plus tips on dealing with the mad-masters, the editors; writing a news story; and what the hell to do when a libel writ comes thudding onto your desk.

Bill Coles has been a journalist for 25 years and was The Sun's New York Correspondent, Political Correspondent and Royal Reporter. He has written for a huge variety of papers from The Wall Street Journal to the Mail, the Scotsman and Prima Baby Magazine.

He has also covered some of the world's biggest news stories as well as some of the most bizarre

- Bill Clinton's year-long sex scandal with his intern Monica Lewinsky.

- The Boston murder trial of the British nanny Louise Woodward (with five Sun front pages in a row).

- Buying $10,000 of lottery tickets in Miami

- A blind-date with Ivana Trump in a stretch limo.

- Becoming one of Company magazine's Bachelors of the Year.

- Flying from New York to the Inca trail in Peru to eat a giant guinea-pig.

- Posing naked for a Sun centrefold - with nothing but a copy of The Sun to hide his modesty.

‘Bill Coles brings newspapers to life and injects an infectious energy, warmth and passion. We are in the business of entertaining and Bill is the master of ceremonies.’ - Donald Martin, Editor-in-Chief, DC Thomson

‘As the chief of Bill Coles' "mad-masters"' I wished we could have kept Bill in Cape Town for at least another year. On the other hand - he would most probably have taken over my job as editor-in-chief. Red Top is tremendously entertaining, insightful and a must-read for all aspiring reporters; it is also an excellent guide for practising journalists.’ - Ingo Capraro, formerly Editor-in-Chief, Die Son, South Africa

‘"Do you ever feel ashamed?" a reader asks the hack. And I do. I feel ashamed that the home of fearless, mischievous, tabloid temerity has become so tame, so tired, so tepid. I loved my time in the gutter. It is the only place to find the truth. Bill Coles' book is a colourful reminder of all we risk losing.’ - Sue Douglas, formerly Editor of the Sunday Express and deputy editor of the Sunday Times

‘And Bill came to Africa and he opened a new window for us on the art of tabloid journalism in the world. He gave us insight in new trends and assured us in some way we are on the right path.’ - Peet Bothma, Editor of Sondag, South Africa