1. ITV Report

Legendary 'spycatcher' reporter Harry Chapman Pincher dies at 100

Author and journalist Harry Chapman Pincher upset the powerful with his revelations of closely guarded secrets. Photo: PA Archive

Veteran investigative journalist Harry Chapman Pincher, who became famous for unearthing British state and military secrets and exposing spies, has died aged 100.

The reporter known as "the lone wolf of Fleet Street" served for more than three decades as defence and science correspondent for the Daily Express and authored several controversial books about the alleged Soviet penetration of British security service MI5.

ITV News' Sue Saville reports on the remarkable life of the "spycatcher":

Pincher was celebrated for wining and dining his way to previously unreported facts, while mixing with Britain's power elites through fishing and game shooting to beat his rival reporters to a story.

While his revelations made his career, they earned him the rebuke of some powerful figures, including former Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and, most famously, Harold Macmillan.

Prime Minister Harold Wilson gave Harry Chapman Pincher an award as the Reporter of the Decade in the 1960s - though the reporter would later link him with Soviet spying. Credit: PA Archive

Pincher revelled in a 1959 secret memo written by the then PM Macmillan - after the journalist had made a private Cabinet decision public - that read: "Can nothing be done to suppress or get rid of Mr Chapman Pincher?"

Pincher, who celebrated his century last March, recently suffered a mini-stroke but his son Michael said his father had died "of old age" as he announced the death on Twitter.

He said his father's last joke was to "tell them I'm out of scoops" after a lifetime of unearthing front-page stories, though his son added: “For him ‘RIP’ stands for ‘Recycling in Progress’.”