Listen now 30 mins
Private Eye magazine was first published on 25 October 1961 and became part of the 'satire boom'. As Private Eye's 50th anniversary approaches, its fortnightly combination of cartoons, jokes, journalism and gossip makes it Britain's best-selling current affairs magazine.
Michael Crick traces Private Eye's origins back to Shrewsbury School in the mid-1950s, when four of its key figures - Richard Ingrams, Willie Rushton, Christopher Booker and Paul Foot - wrote the school magazine. Booker was the first editor of Private Eye until Ingrams took over in 1963. The present editor, Ian Hislop, succeeded Ingrams in 1986.
Michael Crick asks how Private Eye has survived despite its many costly legal battles, notably those against James Goldsmith and Robert Maxwell. Has Private Eye won a deserved reputation for speaking truth unto power by its irreverence and investigative journalism? Or is it now becoming something of a national institution? And will it survive the new challenge from bloggers and other online journalism?
Producer: Rob Shepherd.
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