Five Journalists Who Have Beards

Since I made a throwaway remark (that took 25 minutes to write) yesterday about having a beard, I’ve been flooded with requests to put up a picture of it. “Show us your beard,” these requests would say if they existed. “Go on,” they don’t continue, “show us your beard.”

So, I’m showing you my beard. Here it is. In order to protect my thinly veiled anonymity, I’ve put on a big hat and a pair of prescription sunglasses (not mine). 

Image: Charlie Wiper

Look at me. Cool, aren’t I? What am I doing there? 60? 70? 80? I’m not doing 90 am I? No. Actually, I’m not doing anything. I can’t drive. This is how I get my kicks these days, by sitting in cars pretending to drive. I used to do this when I was six.

But that’s not enough, is it? Well, it’s both not enough and too much and at the same time all a bit empty and seemingly pointless, just highlighting my beard. I’m well-known for posting entries that provide invaluable insights into the magical world of journalism. With that in mind, here are five other journalists with beards.

1. Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway had a beard. He started out as a cub reporter for The Kansas City Star. He wrote some books. In 1961 he blew his brains out with a shotgun. His father also committed suicide.

2. Giles Coren.

See what I did earlier? I wrote the Ernest Hemingway entry in his style. I found it to be largely unsuccessful. Still, when has being largely unsuccessful ever stopped me? Never, that’s when.

Anyway, Giles Coren. In 2008, he famously sent a letter to the subs at The Times where he said things like:

“When you’re winding up a piece of prose, metre is crucial. Can’t you hear? Can’t you hear that it is wrong? It’s not fucking rocket science. It’s fucking pre-GCSE scansion. I have written 350 restaurant reviews for The Times and I have never ended on an unstressed syllable. Fuck. fuck, fuck, fuck.”


“This is someone thinking ‘I’ll just remove this indefinite article because Coren is an illiterate cunt and I know best.'” 


“The way you avoid this kind of fuck up is by not changing a word of my copy without asking me, okay? It’s easy. Not. A. Word. Ever.”

Earlier this year, he wrote another letter, this time to the photographer who took the above picture, where he complained: “I look like a fucking idiot in this picture. Fuck. Why did you make me touch my chin with my fingers, people will think I’m a right fucking plum. And what’s with my eyes? What have you done to my fucking eyes?”

He didn’t really say that, I made it up. And on second thoughts, I’m not really sure if Giles Coren has a (fucking) beard. Let’s check, shall we, with another picture of him looking cool.

Yeah. If a photographer asked me to pose like that, I’d definitely say yes. I would also say that, on balance, Giles Coren has a beard. This is going well, isn’t it?

3. Gary Bushell.

According to his website, Gary Bushell has appeared on 2,500 television programmes. I didn’t think there were that many television programmes. Anyway, look at his beard. It’s one of those rubbish shaved underneath ones, those cop-out ones. What do you think to this post, by the way? I think it’s dreadful. “Five Journalists Who Have Beards”? Fucking hell. Really? And a photo of me pretending to drive a car? Is this what it’s come to? I never imagined that at 36 I would be writing about Gary Bushell’s beard. For free. What is wrong with me? Don’t tell me, I couldn’t take it. If only there was something – just one thing – in the world that could cheer me up right now.

4. Irwin M Fletcher.

And there it is. That’s cheered me up no end. The best fictional journalist of all time, with the best fake beard of all time, in the best film of all time. And we’re nearly at the end of this entry, too, which is also cheering me up. One more to go.

5. Mike Rampton.

This is Mike Rampton from Front magazine. He’s very funny and writes very well. More importantly, he has TWO beards, one made of clips and another, underneath, made of beard.

And that, thank fuck, is that.

Do YOU have a beard? Are you thinking of getting one? Perhaps you KNOW someone with a beard. Do you have any FUNNY stories about beards? Do you have any funny stories about things that are NOT beards? If so, I’d love to hear from you.


16 responses to “Five Journalists Who Have Beards

  1. I have a really shitty beard that only remains unshaven because, without it, I look like a 16 year old bulldog – not, literally, a 16 year old bulldog, I doubt they live that long, more that I look like a 16 year old boy and a bulldog, all chunky and young and shit!

    I hate my face, I love your beard and am jealous of it.

    Peace (it’s been a long week, it’s only Tuesday and I’m going, rapidly, mad) x

  2. Fuck that, your beard is the nuts. You look like a west country musketeer, whoever you are. Peace indeed. X

  3. That’s quite a magnificent beard, Pitchy.

  4. That’s quite a magnificent thing to say, M. Thanks.

    • Oh, I was referring to Chevy Chase’s fake beard. Just kidding, your beard is more than magnificent. It’s stunning. Clearly you win. Something. I’m not clear on what you win.

      • Thanks very much M. Sleeping with it is a problem. Sleeping with it is not stunning. Imagine a pillow case that is half cotton, half coarse, wiry hair. Go on, imagine it. That’s what it’s like.

  5. You forgot Father Christmas. He worked for The Observer back in the 80s. Or was it David Bellamy? Or Brian Blessed? Whatever. Your beard wins, even if it does remind me a bit of old fashioned carpet underfelt.

  6. Thanks Mya. I wish Brian Blessed was my uncle. Uncle Brian, that would be nice. What does old fashioned carpet underfelt look like? I may have to look it up. Does it look like autumn?
    And what do I win? Not that it’s a competition or anything. But WHAT DO I WIN?

  7. I have always been curious about this, do you get treated differently with the beard? do women still swoon and compliment your eyes or do children cry and elderly women click their falsies as you approach ? From a female 30-something point of view, and I am not sure if other ladies will agree, I always think that men with beards (not the really defined ones, they have to be full face shaggy ones) will be super amazing with their hands. I imagine they can fix a leaky roof, wrestle a croc, whittle a toy boat, make a fire rubbing stones – that type of thing. I am 100% a beard fan.

  8. I’m touched with the praise for my beard. Thanks. I don’t know about women. I don’t see women any more, have hardly seen a woman for weeks. The old man in the village shop seems to like it and some of the local farmers. I think they think that I think I’m trying to be one of them. Perhaps I am. The old man in the village shop didn’t acknowledge me for years until the beard. Now he’s hola-ing and como estas-ing like you wouldn’t believe. The other day he stroked my hand whilst giving me my change. You do the math. Maths.

    • That’s actually quite sweet about the old man in the village shop. Your pillow of wiry, coarse hair sounds unpleasant. Why is your beard hair so coarse? And why are you apparently shedding your beard hair in such great quantities? Is that normal?
      P.S. Nice random Peep Show reference at the end of your comment there.

      • Thanks. I used it an email to someone earlier and they replied, ‘Er, that’s the best email I’ve ever read.’ I doubt just because of that. I tend to do that, get a phrase in my head and use it loads until I forget about it. You do the math. Maths.
        I’m not shedding my beard, but because well over half of my face is beard when I lay on my pillow it kind of springs back at me and feels as if I’m on a pillow of beard.

  9. How much hair do you have under that hat?

    And if you’ve not seen a woman for so long, why do you have a woman’s hat & sunglasses?

    And if it’s not a woman’s hat & sunglasses, well.

  10. Run:
    1. Not loads.
    2. The hat is a hat I bought several years ago when I was building walls. This is when I would work in the summer, and it would get very hot. Lots of builders wear them in Mallorca. With sunglasses. Go onto a building site over here in the summer and it’s like a collection of male Annie Halls. The sunglasses are my (sort of) Spanish (sort of) step-brother’s.
    3. Ta.

  11. Right now I genuinely (and partly because I am partially drunk) wish I could grow a beard.

  12. Pingback: Let’s See How Those Aims For 2011 Worked Out Then (Clue: Badly) « Mike Rampton

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