“I have always fought for the use of new technology in society. We need new technology to advance but sometimes I feel that we, as human beings, can’t always keep up with it. We must also fight for our freedoms as government tries to control the information age. The danger in our fightback against Big Brother is that we could end up with anarchy.” – Eddy Shah
Eddy Shah has always been at the forefront of innovation in his business and creative life: whether revolutionising the newspaper industry by introducing new technology and journalistic methods at the ground-breaking Today newspapers, changing the way TV programmes were produced with peak-time shows, and now tackling the building industry head-on with his latest business venture building affordable and eco-friendly homes.
Writing has been a major part of Eddy Shah’s life since he was sixteen and in the 1990s he wrote four successful novels: Manchester Blue, Fallen Angels, The Lucy Ghosts and Ring of Red Roses. Shah spent two years researching and writing Second World; he’d first had the idea for the novel thirteen years ago but it was considered a book ahead of its time, so Shah put it aside as he waited for the technology and information age to catch up with his ideas.
Born in 1944 in Cambridge, Eddy Shah was educated at Gordonstoun in Scotland, although he was suspended. It was an extremely unhappy part of his life. He didn’t go to university, but his lifelong passion for books and reading started when very young and he’s been writing all his life. His first rejection slip came at the age of sixteen.
He started his career in theatre and television as a stage and floor manager and progressed to the BBC and Granada as a floor manager working on classic shows such as “Till Death Us Do Part”, “Coronation Street” and “Softly, Softly”. He then entered the newspaper business with the Manchester Evening News and, after being made redundant, sold his house to start his own paper and eventually built up a portfolio of 60 newspaper titles.
During this period he introduced new technology through desktop publishing to the newspaper and magazine industries when he launched Today in 1986. In the process, he became one of the most talked-about newspaper men of the 1980s, earning the soubriquet “Shah of Warrington”, when he became the first publisher to invoke the new Labour Laws to confront the Trade Unions a year before The Miner’s Strike. He faced over 10,000 pickets a night for more than seven months and death threats that included a delivery of coffins to his house.
He then launched a national newspaper and forced Fleet Street to follow by de-unionising and introducing new technology.
Shah sold his newspaper empire in 1988 and in 1989 set up Messenger TV, an independent company which produced several successful prime-time Sunday night series including “Capstick’s Law” for Granada TV. The company also made three films for Channel 4.
In 2011, he was falsely accused of having sex with a fifteen-year-old-girl when the authorities decided that after openly ignoring Jimmy Savile they wanted scalps to hide behind. After an eleven week trial, the first of the celebrity cases, he was unanimously found Not Guilty. The girl turned out to be nineteen when she met him only once, and the court action confirmed he had no sex with the woman, in fact, had never tried anything.
This case confirmed to him how dishonest and corrupt the Establishment was and his latest book, ‘Rogue State’ to be published in April, builds on his distrust of the very people who are paid to look after us. It starts with Tony Blair taking us to war on a ‘lie’ and concerns a serial killer who turns on ‘The Establishment’.
His latest business venture is building quality, eco-friendly homes Retirement Villages at affordable prices.
Eddy and his wife, Jennifer, a successful model and actress who was in the original Bond movie Casino Royale and a number of other television and films, have three grown-up children, four grandchildren, and are celebrating fifty years of marriage this year.