When the world’s most powerful media mogul wanted to revolutionise Britain’s national newspaper industry he turned to Tom Bell for help. Rupert Murdoch was hell bent on wresting power away from the unions and freeing his News International business from the malevolent stranglehold of left wing activists. The infamous Wapping Dispute of the mid-1980s represented the biggest gamble of Murdoch’s life. It hinged on whether he could get tens of millions of newspapers past thousands of militant pickets. Tom Bell made it happen. He was indefatigable.
It was the beginning of the end of ‘Fleet Street’, but another chapter in the remarkable rise of a man born into poverty, but destined for the top. Tom Bell has been a catalyst for many a change throughout his 67-years. As a child he would scavenge on bitterly cold, windswept beaches for sea coal, to stave off the worst of freezing Scottish winters.
Adversity only served to fuel his relentless determination to better himself. Hard work, talent and sheer bloody mindedness, saw him go from driving a lorry to clocking up millions upon millions of pounds in profits as a ground-breaking ‘Captain of Industry’.
His uncanny ability to make money changed the lives of tens of thousands of mentally, physically and socially disadvantaged children, exploits that earned him a date with The Queen and an OBE.
Ruthless and compassionate in equal measure, a maverick who didn’t suffer fools gladly, Tom Bell grabbed every opportunity that came his way. From a bleak tenement in Kirkcaldy, to a lifestyle mixing with royalty, sports celebrities and icons from films and music, his story is an inspirational tale of rags to riches based on a mantra of work hard and play hard. According to Rupert Murdoch, Tom Bell was, ‘The Man Who Never Sleeps’. Tom Bell lives in Bedworth, Warwickshire.