Tributes to showbiz journalist David Lewin ‘the last of a classic breed of pure reporters’

17:00 06 March 2012

Showbiz writer David Lewin has died aged 89,David pictured in 1993

Showbiz writer David Lewin has died aged 89,David pictured in 1993

© Nigel Sutton

Tributes have been paid to showbiz journalist, former Hampstead resident and one-time Ham&High reporter David Lewin, who has died in his sleep aged 89.

Mr Lewin became famous for his in-depth interviews of Hollywood stars, many of whom would become his friends.

“You name it they were his friends, he was at the centre of everything,” said Ruth Gorb, a close friend and a former gardening columnist for the Ham&High. “He was Mr Showbiz in the 1970s he really was.”

Mr Lewin started out as a reporter at the Ham&High before becoming a film and entertainment correspondent for the nationals after the Second World War.
He went on to write for the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Mail and spend four decades jetting across the Atlantic to report the big entertainment stories.

In 1951, in the days when reporters kept their distance, he flew to the jungle to cover The African Queen, which starred Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.

He forged friendships with Hollywood greats from Liz Taylor to Bernard Delfont, the entertainment mogul, and was famous around Hampstead for his parties at his home in Hollycroft Avenue.

“He wasn’t glamorous, he was very down to earth, extremely funny with a wealth of stories,” said Mrs Gorb.

Retired Ham&High editor Gerald Isaaman recalled Mr Lewin’s honesty and integrity.

“In the days before reporters used phone hacking to achieve exclusives, he gained the confidence of Hollywood and British stars, film directors and writers to produce interviews that stand the tough test of time and honesty,” he said.

“In that sense, he was among the last of a classic breed of pure reporters who wanted to inform as well as fascinate.”

Only on one occasion as a rookie reporter at the Ham&High did Mr Lewin slip up and get found out.

Having reported that “nothing happened” at a church meeting in Hampstead it turned out the church hall had burnt down, recalled Mr Isaaman.

“David had skipped the event perhaps thinking he was destined for much bigger things.
“And indeed he was, the glamorous world of interviewing the stars earning him their respect and justified recognition as a formidable journalist.”

Mr Lewin moved to West London in his twilight years after the death of his wife Betty.

He is survived by two sons, Nicholas and Guy.


Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Controversial plans to build a 10-storey “big ugly block” of luxury flats in Hampstead were last night waved through by Camden Council.

A row has broken out over plans to dig out a basement car park and swimmming pool next to Hampstead Heath.

Yesterday, 17:15

A heritage campaigner has told of his devastation after he watched raiders ransack a disused pub that he fought to preserve.

Yesterday, 15:45

A historic red phone box in Highgate Village could soon be a tiny office space, complete with printing, scanning, copying and wifi

Yesterday, 11:00

Camden parents were forced to pay a total of £20,000 in school fines in the last year, new figures have revealed.

Yesterday, 07:08

This year’s Hampstead Christmas Festival has been called off, the Ham&High can reveal.

Wed, 19:00

The vicar believes the flags were taken down on both occasions as part of a targeted ‘homophobic attack’ on his church’s open and inclusive values

Wed, 17:39

Women have been warned to be vigilant when using the Black Path in West Hampstead after a lone female was sexually attacked in broad daylight on Saturday afternoon.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news


Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now