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Anorak | FLASHBACK: Bombshell resignations – how to say ‘stick your job’ in style

FLASHBACK: Bombshell resignations – how to say ‘stick your job’ in style

by | 6th, November 2012

RESIGNATIONS – memorable ones. And on that bombshell…

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As the fall-out from Danny Baker’s on-air sacking-cum-resignation continues, we look at those who went out, not with a whimper, but a bang…

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First up is Radio One disc jockey Dave Lee Travis, aka DLT and The Hairy Cornflake. With a massive clear-out of the “Smashie and Nicey” generation on the cards, he decided to jump before he was pushed. On 8 August 1993 he resigned live on air, saying that he could not agree with changes that were being made to the station. Travis told his audience that plans were afoot that he could not tolerate: “…changes are being made here which go against my principles and I just cannot agree with them…”

And where DLT leads, DJs elsewhere follow, in Jacksonville…

…and Mobile…

But the most famous on-air goodbye was that of legendary US TV host Jack Parr, who over the censoring of an item about – of all things – a toilet…

Exit, stage left

At the Alexandra Palace on New Year’s eve 1968, Small Faces leader Steve Marriot walked off stage during an extended “jam”, never to return.

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Yet this was as nothing to the drama of 3 July 1973. As Ziggy/Aladdin mania swept the nation, David Bowie sensationally “retired” live on stage at the Hammersmith Odeon, to the shock of his backing band The Spiders. It was the first they knew of it, and were none to pleased to find themselves out of work at the peak of their fame. Bowie was back on the road, with a new band, within a year.


By contrast, when Bill Wyman decided to leave the Rolling Stones, he did so in one of the most unlikely ways imaginable. Crystal Palace supporter Bill appeared on ITV’s midweek football highlights show on the night of his team’s Coca-Cola Cup quarter-final victory over Chelsea in January 1993. In the course of a discussion of the game and his support for the club, he casually mentioned that he would not be touring again. Here’s a picture of Bill in 1971, wearing the club’s old claret-and-blue pinstripe shirt under his coat…

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Sticks and stones

There are numerous cases of sub-editors sabotaging newspapers – most recently, the insulting messages to News Corporation that were contrived as answers to the crossword in the final edition of the News of the World.

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More spectacularly still, journalist Stephen Pollard left the Daily Express in 2001 shortly after it was taken over by porn publisher Richard Desmond, who was making savage cuts. His final leader article for the paper, spelt out the message “Fuck you, Desmond” in the capital letters at the beginning of each sentence. Unfortunately he paid a heavy price for his gesture, as the job he was about to take up at The Times was cancelled because they considered it “unacceptable”.

Slipping off the greasy pole of politics

Geoffrey Howe’s resignation in 1990 was calculated to cause maximum embarrassment for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whom he compared to a cricket captain breaking the bats of his own batsmen…

For sheer reckless impulsiveness, however, there is nothing to equal the drunken exit of Labour’s excitable former chancellor and foreign secretary – the man for whom Private Eye coined the phrase “tired and emotional”. George Brown had threatened to resign so many times when in office that the civil servants kept a special “resignations” file. But this time he actually did resign – from his own party. After a hard night’s boozing in the bars of the Houses of Parliament, and egged on by journalists, he announced his intention to quit. Which allowed the photographers enough time to catch him literally falling over in the street. Brown blamed the fall on his bifocals.

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“Muppets”

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Greg Smith was executive director and head of Goldman Sachs’ US equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Until, that is, the day his resignation letter was published in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune in March 2012.

“TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs,” he wrote. “After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it. To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.”

He added:

“I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.” And furthermore: “It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as ‘muppets,’ sometimes over internal e-mail.”

Disembarking mad

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In 2010, Jet Blue air steward Steven Slater swore at passengers, grabbed two beers, and exited via the emergency slide after one difficult customer too many – gaining a legion of Facebook supporters in the process.

And finally…

Best ‘I quit!’ scene…

… and best ‘I quit!’ song…

 

 



Posted: 6th, November 2012 | In: Flashback, Key Posts Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink

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