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17th
Sep
A late word on the late Keith Waterhouse
Posted by Adam Macqueen | 11 comments »

Keith Waterhouse only wrote one thing for Private Eye, for issue 73, published on 2nd October 1964. It was a piece about opinion polls just ahead of the election Harold Wilson was about to win, co-written with his regular collaborator Willis Hall and entitled “What is a Don’t Know?”

I’m not going to give you the text of it here. But I am going to give you this telegram, which for many years has been pinned to a noticeboard in Richard Ingrams’ – and subsequently Ian Hislop’s – office.
telegram1
OVERNIGHT INGRAMS PRIVATE EYE 22 GREEK STREET W1 =
YOUR PAGE 4 REPRODUCTION OF KHALIL SHABIS LETTER BRINGS YOU DOWN TO LEVEL OF PETERBOROUGH DAILY TELEGRAPH WHICH REGULARLY HAS BIG LAUGH AT INABILITY OF ARABS TO SPEAK ENGLISH STOP HOW IS YOUR ARABIC = KEITH WATERHOUSE +

(God alone knows why it’s come out sideways… New technology baffles pissed old hack.)

Issue 73 also featured the first flexidisc – fixed to the cover over a photograph of Alec Douglas-Home on the toilet with a speech bubble saying “Put that record back AT ONCE!”, the very first appearance of Spiggy Topes and the Turds, as introduced by Maureen Cleavage, and the launch of the Stuff Your Own Quintin Hogg cushion kit. It’s rather a good one…


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