October 2009
Hunter Davies spontaneously combusts
Posted by Adam Macqueen, 27th October 2009

That photo of the Beatles reading Private Eye in the last edition? It got Hunter Davies very excited indeed. Craig Brown once accused Davies of labelling and storing his own toenail clippings, but it appears he actually restrains himself to number ones:

Please say it’s true, that you didn’t fiddle or digitally alter that photo of the Beatles sitting at what appears to be a greasy spoon caff reading what clearly appears to be a copy of Private Eye (Letters, Eye 1247). As a collector of early Private Eyes, all the way back to Number One of October 25, 1961, one of the most valuable number ones of any national organ (now worth thousands, for only 500 were printed), and also of Beatles memorabilia, I was thrilled to see two of my collecting passions coming together.
I do hope it is genuine. If so, what was the date of the attractive-looking location?


It must have been May 1963, given that the mag in question is issue number 37. Which means – rustles notes – they would have been reading a great deal of heavy hinting about Duncan Sandys, and that “the death took place quietly yesterday of Mr David Frost, one of the most brilliant and outspoken critics and commentators of his generation. The cause of death was believed to have been overstrain of the talent.”

You can see the photo – and buy a copy – here.

Twitter jumps shark – official
Posted by Adam Macqueen, 20th October 2009

Well, it won’t surprise you to discover that the Ian Hislop on Twitter isn’t our editor. But it may suprise you – hell, it surprised me – to discover that as of about 3 hours ago, @privateeyenews is the magazine’s official, er, twitter thingy.

Not my department, so don’t go asking me anything technical about it. I don’t even know which end you put the paper in.

What complete Ruckers
Posted by Adam Macqueen, 13th October 2009

Given today’s legal shenanigans over reporting of the question posed in parliament by Paul Farrelly MP about the (until now) secret injunction obtained by Trafigura and the Eye’s old friends the solicitors Carter-Fuck – for details see here (the question in, er, question, runs in full in the issue of Private Eye out today as well) – it seems like a good point to reflect on some recent history.

On 5 May this year Eye editor Ian Hislop appeared alongside Twitter hero of the hour Alan Rusbridger before the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, where they were questioned by – hey! – Paul Farrelly MP about the dangerous implications of just such injunctions. The transcript’s here – you’ll need to scroll down to Q849 to get to their bit.

On a slightly less depressing note, Peter Carter-Fuck, the late founder of the firm, once phoned Robin Shaw, the Eye’s lawyer, and asked him if he could persuade the magazine to stop referring to him as Peter Carter-Fuck. They agreed. And started referring to him as Peter Farter-Ruck instead.