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Award-winning editor Alastair Machray of the Liverpool Echo talks about his love for the city

By Kingfisher Visitor Guides

Alastair Machray, award-winning editor of the Liverpool Echo, arrived in the city to further his career over 20 years ago – now he wouldn’t live anywhere else. He’s a proud advocate for Liverpool and a proud editor of the Echo – a title often referred to as 'the voice of the city'. In his mid-50s, Alastair is married to Lynne and a father of two. He is obsessive about golf, football and most other sports. He enjoys cryptic crosswords, walking the dog, a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and admits to a worrying fascination with actress Thandie Newton.

Where’s home, and why?
Hoylake on the Wirral Peninsula. I came to Liverpool for a year or so to move my career on – that was 22 years ago. My family settled well on Wirral and I fell in love with the city. My son’s been here since he was a baby and my daughter was born here. I have a rambling house near to the beach and to Royal Liverpool Golf Club where I’m a proud member.

What is your first memory of Liverpool?
My first visit to the Echo for interview. I was staying at the Campanile Hotel on the Dock Road and got off the train at Lime Street and asked a cabbie to take me there. ‘Have you got your cossie?’ He asked ‘Because there’s a brilliant swimming pool at The Campanile.’ ‘Is there?’ I replied unwittingly. ‘Yes’ he roared. ‘The ALBERT DOCK’. He spent the whole 10-minute cab ride howling at his own wit. Welcome to Liverpool!

Red, Blue or neutral?
Black and White. I’m from Newcastle originally. I think in my job it helps not to be Red or Blue and I get stick in equal measure from each. When they find out I’m a Newcastle fan, they feel a bit sorry for me.

Favourite view?
Looking out at the Liver Building from the stunning picture window at the Museum of Liverpool. It’s like a Dali painting.

What’s your favourite Liverpool night out?
A stroll down Hope Street from the Metropolitan Cathedral End to the Anglican End, calling in for drinks at various bars and pubs. Then definitely a bite to eat at Host or The Quarter.

Favourite place to eat?
I adore The Art School Restaurant in Sugnall Street. Fantastic food from a hugely gifted chef who deserves a Michelin Star before long. Elegant surroundings and excellent staff too.

Best pub?
The Philharmonic in Hope Street. Worth a visit just to see the toilets. Or the City Wine Bar + Kitchen next to my office in Old Hall Street. Love them both.

Which Liverpool building would you like to buy?
The Cunard Building on the waterfront. I go there regularly for meetings and it fills me with awe. Its sheer size and splendour speaks volumes about Liverpool’s stature at the turn of the century.

The Three Graces consist of the Royal Liver Building, The Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building

The Three Graces consist of the Royal Liver Building, The Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building

If you wanted to show a visitor the essence of Liverpool, where would you take them?
That’s hard. Liverpool is many different things and is made up of all types of people. If pushed (and you are pushing!) I would say Bold Street. The bars, the restaurants, the independent shops, the people… it has a little bit of everything that makes up the glorious mix that is Liverpool.

Best place for a first date?
Probably Panoramic 34 in West Tower if I wanted to impress. The views are amazing and would ensure the conversation flowed.

Favourite walk?
Along Stanley Road in Hoylake past my beloved Royal Liverpool golf course, then down to West Kirby along the boardwalk, then back up Meols Drive to Hoylake. The views of Hilbre Island and the Welsh hills are superb. The dog and I never tire of this walk.

Favourite shops?
Any shop that stocks the Echo!

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