The Story Behind: The pic of a tearful Thatcher leaving Downing Street one last time

OF all the photographs used by the Press last week, to accompany their reporting of the death of former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, there is one that stands out: with her husband, Denis, by her side in the car that is to take her Buckingham Palace, she cranes forward and to her right, looking straight into the lens. Her eyes bloodshot, it is the tearful moment when she leaves Downing Street for one last time, after 11 years in power.

The photographer in question is Scot, Ken Lennox, who was working for the Daily Mirror at the time. As he says, it is a picture that is probably used somewhere in the world every day, though he says he has more favourite ones in his collection, including Bob Geldof in Ethipioa and several of the late Princess Diana.

The 70 year-old is now freelancing and his career includes working all over Fleet Street, including as picture editor at The Sun. He says he was 21 years with the Daily Express, adding that he sold his first picture – coincidentally, to the Express – aged 13, for £13 10s, as much as his father earned in a week, which confirmed to him what he was going to do for a career. His first staff job with the now defunct Evening Citizen, before being lured by the Express to work in Aberdeen.

His many tales include being sent on a jet aircraft to Tenerife, to identify the body of Mirror owner, Robert Maxwell, who had died at sea, after disappearing from his yacht.

He was picture editor of the News of the World for just over a year, at the personal invitation of owner, Rupert Murdoch, to help then editor, Rebekah Brooks (then Wade), to settle in. “Apparently, she had asked for me because she knew she could scream at me and I wouldn’t faint,” he said.

Here, he explains the story behind…

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