If you’ve read our guide to Private Eye, one of the U.K’s favourite satirical publications, you’ll be familiar with the name of Richard Ingrams. Ingrams was one of the founders of The Salopian, the school publication which preceded Private Eye. He went on to become the editor of the Eye for twenty years, guiding it through some of it’s most interesting times.
Ingrams left the Eye in 1986, being replaced by Ian Hislop and in 1992 set about establishing The Oldie. While it may sound like an offshoot of the Saga magazine, or perhaps a fanzine for grumpy old men, it has been more accurately described as the spiritual successor to Punch.
Richard Ingrams says that his aim was to “produce an antidote to youth culture but, more importantly, a magazine with emphasis on good writing, humour and quality illustration.” That ambition has certainly been achieved and as well as being a critical triumph, The Oldie has also proved a commercial success – no easy task in the 21st century.
Aside from what Ingrams mentions in the above quote, The Oldie manages to avoid any type of celebrity association except when it is lampooning them. It’s tales of reader’s chance encounters with famous and infamous characters are a popular staple of each month’s magazine as are it’s literary reviews, competitions and cartoons.
The Oldie of the Year awards are a notable annual event in literary circles and are a recognisably tongue-in-cheek nod to a person of mature years who has achieved a certain amount of recognition or notoriety over the previous twelve months. Previous winners have included Terry Wogan, Ian Paisley, David Hockney and Prince Philip.
Here’s a few quotes about this gently satirical magazine from U.K. sources to convince you that it may be worth shelling out for one issue to se what the fuss is about:
“The most original magazine in the country…..their eclectic embrace of human variety is a monthly rebuke to the formulaic, celebrity led concept of features in our newspapers and magazines.”
“An indispensable antidote to the triviality of the 21st century.”
P. D. James
“Age only matters if you are a cheese.”