Last issue I exclusively revealed the stunning truth behind CRASH editorials: they’re written at the last minute and flow from desperation. Well, this is no exception: it’s written in my final minutes at CRASH, which makes the last days of the Roman Empire seem like a Microfair, and I’m sure everyone’s desperate to see me flow away.

There’s no room to wax nostalgic — and Philippa Irving would scratch it with her combat boots anyway. But (in the tedious tradition of Oscar-winners) I’ll just thank a few people. Well, half the population of Ludlow: all the unsung heroes and heroines of CRASH. (When did you last hear a hero sung? And have you noticed how everyone always thanks the unsung heroes and heroines, to the point where they must feel like Oklahoma!?). Markie, Wayne, Roger, Oli, David, Tortoise Shell Press, everyone in photography and film planning and printing and accounts and advertising, Fran and Glenys who type letters, Karl who takes them to the Post Office — the magazine would never be produced without their work and patience, yet they miss out on the boldface bylines.

I’m off to join the unsung heroes — it’s coming on already, I have this overwhelming impression of being a South Pacific doctor and slave over a hot make-up screen at Computer News magazine.

So, I’ll take a last look at little Ludlow, its thousand minarets glimmering in the twilight... give my regards to Broad Street... and hand over to...

Oh, that’ll be me. Steve Jarratt’s the name. Some of you may recognise me from ZZAP! where I have been working formerly as a reviewer, and latterly as assistant editor to my verv good friend Julian Rignall, for the last 13 months. Just in case you’re the slightest bit interested, I come from Tividale in the Black Country (West of Birmingham), have a degree in Chemistry (a fat lot of good that did me!) and I’m 22 (OK, so I lied. I’m 25).

My interests lie heavily in science fiction, films, computer games (surprise, surprise) techno stuff and music (favourites: Rush, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, UK — even though I can’t get hold of the albums!).

We also have two other new names appearing this issue, the first of whom is 23 year-old Katharina Hamza. Kati is of Austrian/Egyptian descent (I kid you not) and originally hails from Vienna. Complete with English degree and a wide knowledge of computer games, Kati will be acting as reviewer and adding a dash of intellectual glamour to this drab old office.

The second new reviewer takes the lumbering form of Mark Caswell, from Aberystwyth. Mark is a keen computer gamer and has a wide range of experience across 8- and 16-bit games: I’m sure you’ll find his opinions most helpful. Mark is 23, big and not of Austrian/Egyptian descent.

I know you will all be pleased to hear that CRASH is once again the biggest-selling computer magazine in Britain, just pipping C&VG to this coveted title. Our circulation is currently hovering below the 91,000 figure, which goes to show that the Spectrum market is certainly NOT in a decline. Good news indeed!

More good news is to be had for all those of you who spend hours and hours sweating over computer and arcade games to get that legendary highscore. Newsfield, in conjunction with US Gold, the National Association of Boys Cubs and Montbuild, have instigated the first National Computer Games Championships. Interested? For the lowdown on the highscores, stroll on over to page 92.

’Till next month.