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Who was Blackie the donkey? William Cook

Regulars | By William Cook

Elisabeth Svendsen and Blackie, Peropalo festival, 1987

Destined to be ridden until dead, Blackie the donkey was saved by the tabloids. By William Cook

Britain’s tabloid newspapers are a shadow of what they used to be, struggling to compete with online behemoths like Facebook and Twitter. Back in the 1980s it was a different story. Rupert Murdoch had tamed the print unions, new technology had cut printing costs, and so ‘red top’ papers such as the Sun and the Star could afford to splash their cash on spectacular stunts. And the greatest stunt of all was their dramatic rescue of Blackie the donkey. ...

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