Fenland councillor reveals dare-devil reporter past in 1950s magazine feature

COUNCILLOR Mac Cotterell MBE may have given more than 30 years of service to Fenland District Council, but this week he revealed he was once known as the reporter who would “try anything once”.

As the picture shows, the deputy leader of the council started his career as a keen journalist, willing to put his body on the line for his profession.

His report, which sees him volunteer as a knife-thrower’s target at Wisbech fair, features in the 1957 edition of Splash - the company magazine for East Midlands Allied Press.

“I wandered into the fair looking for stories and I saw the knife throwing,” said Mac, known then as Malcolm “I’ll Try Anything” Cotterell. “The challenge was there and I became a target for the day.”

Mac’s reputation as a reporting thrill-seeker grew with other stunts, which saw him sawn in half by a magician, ride the “Wall of Death” and get a lift on the petrol tank of a racing car at 110 miles an hour.

Mac’s 1957 feature reads: “I have no real intention of breaking my neck, but just cannot resist finding out what it feels like to do these things.”

His career in journalism saw him become the news editor of the Wisbech Advertiser before he shrugged off his dare-devil instincts to become a photographer. He was first elected to Fenland District Council in 1979.

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