Private Eye

British satirical and current affairs magazine

Private Eye is a British fortnightly satirical and current affairs news magazine. It started in 1961. It is published in London and has been edited by Ian Hislop since 1986. It is well known for its prominent criticism and lampooning of public figures. It is also has a lot of investigative journalism into under-reported scandals and cover-ups.

It is Britain's best-selling current affairs magazine. Many of its long-running jokes have entered popular culture in the United Kingdom. It regularly published satirical pages under the title Mrs Wilson's diary in the 1960s when Mrs Wilson was living in Downing Street with Harold Wilson, the Prime Minister. It was in the style of the BBC radio serial Mrs Dale's Diary. In 1969 it was made into a movie.[1] Nooks and Corners an architectural column, is severely critical of architectural vandalism and "barbarism". It was originally founded by John Betjeman in 1971.[2] Pseuds Corner is one of the longest running columns with pretentious quotations from all sorts of media.

It recorded its highest-ever circulation in the second half of 2016.[3] It is privately owned and highly profitable.

With a "deeply conservative resistance to change", it is only available printed on cheap paper, not online. It looks more like a comic rather than a serious magazine. Both its satire and investigative journalism have led to numerous libel suits. The cover of the tenth anniversary issue in 1971 (number 257) showed a cartoon headstone inscribed with an extensive list of well-known names, and the epitaph: "They did not sue in vain".[4]

it often carries news that the mainstream press will not print for fear of law suits or because the material is of minority interest. It is known for the use of pseudonyms by the writers many of whom have been prominent in public life – this even extends to a fictional proprietor, Lord Gnome.[5]

References change

  1. Thomas-Symonds, Nick (2023). Harold Wilson the winner. London: Weidenfield & Nicolson. p. 201. ISBN 9781474611961.
  2. "ANOTHER VISION OF BRITAIN » 13 Jan 1990 » The Spectator Archive". The Spectator Archive. Retrieved 2023-11-18.
  3. Ponsford, Dominic (2017-02-09). "Private Eye hits highest circulation in 55-year history 'which is quite something given that print is meant to be dead'". Press Gazette. Retrieved 2023-11-18.
  4. "Covers No. 257". Private Eye. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  5. Anthony, Andrew (2000-04-09). "The laughing Gnome". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 2023-11-18.