Victor Davis the distinguished entertainment journalist of the Daily Express and the Mail on Sunday donated a fascinating and valuable collection of his professional work to the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies in April 2009.
The archive records, on a substantial number of cassette tapes, Victor’s interviews with major film and television celebrities from Britain and America between 1967 and 1994. His spiral bound notebook catalogues an alphabetical listing of interviews with dates and places.
The letter ‘B’, for example, records interviews with David Bowie, Richard Burton, Marlon Brando, Warren Beatty, Mel Brooks, Candice Bergen, Roy Boulting, Kathy Bates, Peter Bogdanovitch, Charles Bronson, Jim Belushi, Anne Bancroft, Drew Barrymore and William Baldwin, among many others.
Victor’s working life in journalism has been wide ranging. He began as a copy boy at the Express in 1945 moving to a reporter’s job at the weekly Streatham News (a London Weekly) in 1950 and then to the Daily Sketch in 1956; he was later night news editor of the Daily Sketch and (simultaneously)The People, Sunday newspaper.
From 1960 to 1962 he was a foreign correspondent for the Express, reporting events in the Congo. He became night news editor from 1962-5 and worked in the paper’s New York Bureau from 1965-7. In 1967 Victor was appointed Express’ Show Business editor and finally moved to the Mail on Sundayin 1984. From 1968, Victor wrote under pen names for various magazines around the globe and also found time to publish three novels for Victor Gollancz, titled The Ghostmaker, Queens’ Ransom andGetting Away With It.
He has also published a number of articles in British Journalism Review reflecting on his distinguished career in journalism as well as changes to the professional practice of journalism.
Misc: From 1968 wrote under pen names for magazines (global). Subjects: film star interviews and love stories. Also had three novels published by Victor Gollancz. (The Ghostmaker; Queens’ Ransom; Getting Away With It).
Have written several articles for Saga Magazine on modern military history (a personal interest).