Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z
By: Adam Macqueen
Publisher: Private Eye Productions Ltd.
Released: 12 Sep 2011
Published by Private Eye to mark their 50th anniversary year. To mark the 50th anniversary of the magazine Private Eye, the V&Ais holding an exhibition looking at this particularly Britishphenomenon. Since it was founded in October 1961, the magazine hasdistinguished itself from other titles with its unique combination ofhumorous cartoons and satire with hard-hitting journalism
Great stuff, guys!
Format:Hardcover (29 Oct 2011)
As a fairly recent reader of Private Eye (for only the last five years or so), initially I held back from buying The First 50 Years thinking it might have too many in-jokes for a relative newbie to read. I’m gladly proved wrong as it’s very informative and an excellent quality hardback.
It wasn’t necessary to get further than opening the front cover before starting to laugh. The choice, derogatory, quotes from a wide variety of The Eye’s enemies over the last half a century is just marvellous. (Favourite being: Pornographer Richard Desmond, 2010 “I’ve never bought a copy. I won’t give them the satisfaction.”)
The inclusion of a cross-reference system for section entries I found a very useful way of keeping track of the stories discovered, writs issued and the internal ructions. All of which benefit from being read consecutively. It’s here that I really appreciated the research that went into the various different recollections of some of the less than glorious moments in the magazine’s history. It’s blunt, contradictory, no-one comes out smelling of roses and it explains a lot of background that was fuzzy, for me anyway. For all the the strife and not always prepossessing personalities at work; the coverage of all the great, the good and the bad is fascinating. There’s more than enough detail to keep me coming back to read this for a long time.
Also, I can now get some of the jokes.