Lance Leopard I

 

You can view these Full-size and read them — just right-click on a column and it will open up in a new window, full-size. It’s a bit fiddly, but it’s do-able.

I used to look forward to reading Lance’s columns every week, it was such a highlight. They were in On The Street and Q.  I had been a journalist since the early 1980s and had never really found my own voice. I was totally blown away by Lance Leopard’s stream-of-consciousness columns and his chatty style and I cut them out as I felt they were very inspiring. Over time, Lance’s writings gave me a vision of what and how I could write about the social events I attended.

Leopard’s lifestyle seemed so glamorous. Even though he posted his whereabouts for the week (and I did go out in the scene), I didn’t go to the same types of clubs. However, when he was running Club Slut, I turned up to that at Blackmarket and he was dressed like Bryan Ferry and sang. I bumped into him in the Ladies loos and I said I loved his columns. He was so humble and seemed genuinely surprised that anyone read them. I quoted a bit from a column where he’d said he liked ABBA, and he confirmed this and — well, I can’t remember what was said, he was just charming and lovely. I was on Cloud 9.

I can’t overestimate the influence Lance’s columns had on me — when I went to live in England, I only took one suitcase, and Lance’s columns were among those, for inspiration. Whenever I felt, over my 30-years of journalism, that I couldn’t go on or didn’t know why I was in the business, I’d look over Lance’s columns and think that writing about the everyday ordinary events — whatever was happening to one’s neighbour and friends etc — was what was most exciting. Whenever I got writer’s block or was stuck for a headline idea, I’d think, “What would Lance write?” and of course something quirky would come to mind. His writings have always been the most significant muse in my career.

What I like most about his columns are a quality of lightness and chattiness, and he isn’t nasty, just does a gentle teasing.

Recently, I heard a story from someone who lived near him and said they’d ask him to turn the music down at some ungodly hour — they said Lance was hugely apologetic and complied straight away. So nice!

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