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D.A.N. Jones, 8 January 1987

The Old School: A Study 
by Simon Raven.
Hamish Hamilton, 139 pp., £12, September 1986, 0 241 11929 4
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The Best Years of their Lives: The National Service Experience 1945-63 
by Trevor Royle.
Joseph, 288 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 7181 2459 6
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Murder without Conviction: Inside the World of the Krays 
by John Dickson.
Sidgwick, 164 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 9780283994074
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Inside ‘Private Eye’ 
by Peter McKay.
Fourth Estate, 192 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 947795 80 4
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Malice in Wonderland: Robert Maxwell v. ‘Private Eye’ 
by Robert Maxwell, John Jackson, Peter Donnelly and Joe Haines.
Macdonald, 191 pp., £10.95, December 1986, 0 356 14616 2
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... of Shrewsbury should have given such sound pastoral advice to the founders of Private Eye, Richard Ingrams and his gang of merry chums: these old boys have shamed their old school, making it a byword. Shrewsbury, as Simon Raven notes, is now notorious for shrewishness. Grand old school-stories have furnished Raven with many quotes and ...

At the V&A

Jeremy Harding: 50 Years of ‘Private Eye’, 15 December 2011

... for darker kinds of commission, though they weren’t seen in the magazine much beyond the 1970s. Richard Ingrams, the editor for more than 25 years, used to work up subjects with them in the old days until, as he recalls it, Scarfe ‘got very grand and didn’t like being given ideas’. Despite the odd little text or a letter in longhand, writing is ...
The ‘Private Eye’ Story: The First 21 Years 
by Patrick Marnham.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 232 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 233 97509 8
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One for the Road: Further Letters of Denis Thatcher 
by Richard Ingrams and John Wells.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 80 pp., £2.50, October 1982, 9780233975115
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Sir James Goldsmith: The Man and the Myth 
by Geoffrey Wansell.
Fontana, 222 pp., £1.95, April 1982, 0 00 636503 5
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... recorded for the edification of the future and the gratification of the present. The puritanical Richard Ingrams, who neither smokes nor drinks, and lives a scandalously chaste life, appears to many like some rumpled, corduroy-jacketed Robespierre (though Robespierre was a sybarite by comparison, diluting his water with wine). How has this change come ...

Half Bird, Half Fish, Half Unicorn

Paul Foot, 16 October 1997

Peter Cook: A Biography 
by Harry Thompson.
Hodder, 516 pp., £18.99, September 1997, 0 340 64968 2
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... He had always wanted his own magazine and sought out the Eye’s founders – Christopher Booker, Richard Ingrams and Andrew Osmond – and bought the magazine from Osmond for £1500. This was a substantial, though not an enormous investment. Within a year or so, he moved the Eye offices into the Establishment Club and then next door. At that time, the ...

Woof, woof

Rosemary Hill: Auberon Waugh, 7 November 2019

A Scribbler in Soho: A Celebration of Auberon Waugh 
edited by Naim Attallah.
Quartet, 341 pp., £20, January 2019, 978 0 7043 7457 7
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... be manipulated ‘as a convenience for the rich and powerful to save themselves from criticism’. Richard Ingrams, then editor of Private Eye, suggested that, since he felt so strongly, Waugh might stand for Parliament himself. It’s possible Ingrams was joking, but Waugh took up the suggestion and ran in Thorpe’s ...

Cold Shoulders, Short Trousers

Ian Hamilton, 12 March 1992

Will this do? 
by Auberon Waugh.
Century, 288 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 7126 3734 6
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Mr Wu and Mrs Stitch: The Letters of Evelyn Waugh and Diana Cooper 
edited by Artemis Cooper.
Hodder, 344 pp., £19.99, October 1991, 0 340 53488 5
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... happy and proud to have been given the chance to serve beside him.’ The comrade-in-arms here is Richard Ingrams, with whom Waugh is now serving on a new journal called the Oldie. Ingrams, we learn from a recent interview, also has a father-problem. He told Lynn Barber that ‘he could not have worked for Private Eye ...


Julian Critchley, 11 December 1997

Dear Bill: Bill Deedes Reports 
by W.F. Deedes.
Macmillan, 396 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 333 71386 9
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... touch, and is invariably amusing. In their ‘Dear Bill’ letters in Private Eye, John Wells and Richard Ingrams cast Deedes as the foil to Denis Thatcher. He was Ernie Wise to Thatcher’s Eric Morecambe. But the role of straight man came naturally to him. Dear Bill (the book, that is) should make a merry Christmas for thousands of its ...

They never married

Ian Hamilton, 10 May 1990

The Dictionary of National Biography: 1981-1985 
edited by Lord Blake and C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 518 pp., £40, March 1990, 0 19 865210 0
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... their most sparky when working for the DNB: Geoffrey Wheatcroft on Shiva Naipaul, for instance, or Richard Ingrams on Claud Cockburn (although Ingrams has taken the trouble, it seems, to check through the Times’s files in search of that famous Cockburn headline: ‘Small Earthquake in Chile. Not Many ...

Rejoicings in a Dug-Out

Peter Howarth: Cecil, Ada and G.K., 15 December 2022

The Sins of G.K. Chesterton 
by Richard Ingrams.
Harbour, 292 pp., £20, August 2021, 978 1 905128 33 4
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... the resentful obsession with rich Jews and Liberal politicians was primarily Belloc and Cecil’s. Ingrams supplies detail about just how nasty the pair were to G.K., too. The witty debater and brilliant controversialist was, in private, incapable of resisting Cecil’s tests of his family loyalty or Belloc’s bullying demands for a pulpit. Against all sane ...

Memories of Lindsay Anderson

Alan Bennett, 20 July 2000

... of discontent. Still, it was a much better piece than was generally allowed (Clive James and Richard Ingrams making particular fools of themselves) but it wasn’t what viewers had come to expect from me and so was unfamiliar, or too unfamiliar anyway, a little unfamiliarity often an ingredient of success at any rate with critics, as it enables them ...

Inexhaustible Engines

Michael Holroyd, 1 March 1984

Bernard Shaw: A Bibliography, Vols I and II 
by Dan Laurence.
Oxford, 1058 pp., £80, December 1983, 0 19 818179 5
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Bernard Shaw. Vol. I: 1856-1907 
by Margery Morgan.
Profile, 45 pp., £1.50, July 1982, 0 85383 518 7
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The Art and Mind of Shaw: Essays in Criticism 
by A.M. Gibbs.
Macmillan, 224 pp., £20, October 1983, 0 333 28679 0
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... book, to add that the best edition, with a decent index and interesting Introduction by Richard Ingrams commenting on the collaboration, was brought out in 1975 by the publishers of Jane’s Fighting Ships. By placing his own bibliography as the final item in ‘Works on Shaw’, Mr Laurence has created one or two difficulties, having omitted a ...

Malcolm and the Masses

Clive James, 5 February 1981

Malcolm Muggeridge: A Life 
by Ian Hunter.
Collins, 270 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 00 216538 4
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... thing is not worth doing then it is not worth doing well. Recently I found myself being praised by Richard Ingrams for my radio quiz performances, which evinced, he said, a properly contemptuous attitude for the job. I have no such attitude, but I have no doubt that Ingrams, despite his notoriously eager availability ...

Everybody’s Friend

D.A.N. Jones, 15 July 1982

William Cobbett: The Poor Man’s Friend 
by George Spater.
Cambridge, 318 pp., £15, March 1982, 0 521 22216 8
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... against the modern business practices of newfangled Quakers and Jews. (It is not surprising that Richard Ingrams of Private Eye should think G.K. Chesterton’s biography of Cobbett the best.) Hazlitt supported the Jews as much as the Catholics, and he rebuked Cobbett quite fiercely for being a ‘bullying antagonist’ to the Quakers. Though he admired ...

Heroes of Our Time

Karl Miller, 19 May 1988

The Monument 
by T. Behrens.
Cape, 258 pp., £11.95, May 1988, 0 224 02510 4
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The Passion of John Aspinall 
by Brian Masters.
Cape, 360 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 0 224 02353 5
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... compared the action to that of an animal in his zoos. The Christian editor of Private Eye, Richard Ingrams, who has lately, after a lifetime spent in the publication of sneers and lies, gone to his reward in the shape of a column in the country’s most snobbish newspaper, came out with a piece headed ‘All’s well that ends Elwes.’ Masters is ...

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