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Thread: Private Eye

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    Default Private Eye

    I will use my 1,000th post on this forum (and my first as a DYR fan) to mention what is Britain's best satirical magazine around - it's better than Punch, The New Statesman and Tit-Bits put together!

    OK, it is still going strong as a successful magazine (and I have been a regular reader every since the late 1990s), but it has been going since 1961, and it's certainly made its mark in the British media. Pity that WHSmith went through a phase of not stocking it in the 1970s due to its controversial content. Funnily enough, a few years ago I queueing up to pay for my copy of Private Eye and someone in the queue said to me that he thought that Private Eye stopped publishing years ago! There would have been a lot of truth in that statement as they were sued quite a bit in the magazine's early years!

    I always think of the magazine a bit like Esther Rantzen's That's Life! in a magazine form, if not Spitting Image in the same form - the In the Back column certainly pulls its punches when it comes to serious journalism, and I always enjoy the misprints and errors from national and local newspapers and magazines, a bit like what Cyril Fletcher and Doc Cox used to do on That's Life! And Colemanballs, now Commentatorballs with verbal versions of that, mostly from sports commentators, sportsmen and the like. "The blue is next to the green" came from there originally methinks.

    I managed to get a copy of the one that was published during the fortnight of my own birth from eBay a couple of years ago, and I think that as someone who is used to the present day version of the magazine, I was a bit disappointed. For starters, there was no Prime Ministerial parody of Jim Callaghan which I think weakened the magazine back in 1978 - and columns were less readable and more spread out on the page. I think that Ian Hislop really helped boost the content of it when he became editor - the cartoons are very good - I believe Bill Tidy used to lots of them years ago.

    The great PM parodies such as Mrs Wilson's Diary, Heathco and Dear Bill helped to keep the magazine successful, or to be more specific, the government of its day used to do that as well. I was hoping that Theresa May would get a separate parody to David Cameron, but they continued the "school" theme with her.

    Does anyone still get Private Eye every fortnight (apart from myself, that is)? Or has a change of government meant that the magazine has felt different to some people over the years?

    I was always buy it as it just as much a reflection of the news from the previous week is, as a newspaper would be. Also, I would also buy it for the very funny and exciting [Cont'd p.94]
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Default Re: Private Eye

    They were very brave in their satire, often ending up in court.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Private Eye

    Back in the late 70s to mid 80s my local library stocked Private Eye along with Punch, so I would read both regularly. At the time, I particularly liked the Dear Bill section. Haven't read it in many years now.

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