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Welcome to my world

Murder Ballads
Secret London

Paul Slade Hello. My name's Paul Slade, and I've been a journalist here in London since 1982. During that time, I've written for The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, The Times, The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph, The Independent on Sunday, The Sunday Times, Mojo, Fortean Times, The Idler, Time Out and a host of other publications. In 2005, I started making occasional documentaries for BBC Radio 4, covering subjects like a forgotten radio hoax of 1926 and the craze for "dirty blues" lyrics in pre-war America.

I've developed a taste for writing long essays, a form very few magazines will consider buying

Like any hack who's been working for that length of time, I've accumulated a fair number of pet projects over the years. These are subjects which I've become passionately interested in myself but which, for one reason or another, I've never managed to sell as a commercial proposition. It doesn't help matters that I've recently developed a taste for writing longer essays - running anywhere up to 15,000 words in length - which is a form very few modern magazines are prepared to consider.
Hence this website. Here you'll find my guide to some of the world's most fascinating Murder Ballads, a series of Secret London's forgotten mysteries and, in the section I've cunningly titled Miscellany, anything else I damn well feel like including. My aim is to combine the old-fashioned virtues of traditional journalism - proper research, clear writing and a habit of checking my facts - with the global distribution and ease of access which only the internet can provide. I hope you find something here to take your interest.

- Paul Slade, London, April 2009


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Added in March 2014: The Unknown Alex

Peattie & Taylorís Alex is one of the longest-running strips in any British newspaper today, racking up well over 6,000 appearances so far.
      Since its 1987 launch, the strip has produced both stage and radio adaptations, a couple of dozen book collections and even an MBE each for its two creators. Not bad when you consider that its central character is a ruthlessly egotistical merchant banker whose main obsessions are his own wealth and status.
     In PlanetSladeís latest feature, we tell the story of a forgotten spin-off strip from early in Alexís career, often featuring the man himself, which appeared in a trade newspaper where I happened to be working between 1989 and 1992. The result was a run of 80 Alex strips which even his biggest fans will never have seen before.
     The piece includes ten sample strips from the spin-offís run, relates how the whole project came about and shares Russell Taylorís own insights into why its gags are surprisingly relevant again today. It all starts here.