OLIVE Press News Editor Dilip Kuner knew he’d ‘made it in journalism’ when he saw the flashing blue lights while trying to stand up a royal story.
Sent to Princess Diana’s childhood home by the Sunday Mirror to knock on neighbours, he wasn’t expecting to face arrest.
The problem was the dusky young stranger had not gone unnoticed wandering around the village and the police were soon on the scene.
Having proved his credentials he was packed off back to Fleet Street to be greeted with gales of laughter by the entire news desk.
“It was a chastening experience – but it certainly toughened me up for journalism,” explains the Mijas-based father-of-three, 55.
Having worked his way through local newspapers, including the Folkestone Herald and the Hastings Observer, he quickly moved up to the nationals.
During a decent stint at the Mirror Group, he got a great tip off from Bill Wyman’s chauffeur about Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall’s upcoming ‘wedding’.
But rather than being sent off for a world exclusive to Mustique, the news desk didn’t believe him. And nobody got the story until days afterwards.
Sir Yehudi Menhuin gave an inspiring interview, Home Secretary Michael Howard gave him a tour of the Romney Marsh, while he fell in love with Darling Buds of May star Catherine Zeta Jones during an exclusive chat.
But his first real love was with Spain when he moved here in 1994 (at 27) – and like so many others left his old life behind and started afresh running a restaurant (his dad’s, no less).
“I meant to go back to the fast lane, but life here simply suited me,” he adds.
Some two decades later he picked up where he left off, and has now got back into the thick of it with Spain’s leading English media group.
Since joining the Olive Press in 2020 he’s interviewed the British Ambassador and Consul, been interviewed by the Observer and on Sky News, and run a talented team of journalists.
“It’s the people stories that matter, such as poor Davie Gurney who lost his house. I always like trying to help people like him. The ordinary people.
“I wouldn’t change a thing in my life – flashing blue lights or not,” he says.