Private Eye

From ARRSEpedia

Private Eye front page

Satirical magazine started by a bunch of mainly Public School chaps in the 1960s as part of the anti-Establishment drive of the time. Early contributors included Richard Ingrams, Willy Rushton and Peter Cook. Currently edited by the small, highly educated and decent impersonator of Jimmy Somerville ... Ian Hislop.

Although often sued for libel, sometimes even nearly always losing, it's a beloved British institution to many folk. Unless you are famous or rich and have been caught with your fingers in the till/trousers down.

About 2/3 of it is reasonably serious, usually detailing stories of alleged corruption, hypocrisy, greed and suchlike. The other 1/3 is a collection of fake news stories, running jokes and cartoons.

The military column is written by someone under the pseudonym of Square Basher, thought by some to be an ARRSEr (although it's actually more likely that 'Square Basher' is a defence journalist moonlighting stories he can't get into his own paper).

More info on their website; anoraks enlarged on this wiki page.

  • Couldn't resist this quote from the Wiki, Pressdram being the publisher of Private Eye:

An unlikely piece of British legal history occurred in the case Arkell v. Pressdram. The plaintiff was the subject of an article relating to illicit payments, and the magazine had ample evidence to back up the article. Arkell's lawyers wrote a letter in which, unusually, they said: "Our client's attitude to damages will depend on the nature of your reply". The response consisted, in part, of the following: "We would be interested to know what your client's attitude to damages would be if the nature of our reply were as follows : Fuck off".