Satirical magazine Private Eye will mark 60 years in October with the release of a celebratory book viewing six decades as they were recorded in its pages.
Private Eye: The 60 Yearbook, by the magazine's journalist Adam Macqueen, will be out on 2nd September 2021—the year which also marks the 35th anniversary of Ian Hislop's tenure as editor.
“From the Beatles to Brexit, JFK to Trump, the moon landings to the Mars landings, it tells the story of the past six decades as they were recorded in the Eye’s pages,” the synopsis reads. “The news stories you remember—and plenty you may have forgotten—are retold in cartoons, covers and the magazine’s legendary spoofs as well as extensive extracts from some of its best-loved features like Mrs Wilson’s Diary, Dear Bill and The Secret Diary of John Major.”
The book also tells the story of the headlines Private Eye made itself, from the earliest stirrings of investigative journalism exposing the Poulson Scandal and Ronan Point, through major miscarriages of justice like the Stephen Lawrence case and the Lockerbie cover-up.
It includes writing by Peter Cook, Richard Ingrams, Craig Brown, Auberon Waugh and Hislop, plus pictures from cartoonists including Michael Heath, Gerald Scarfe, Nick Newman, Willie Rushton, Robert Thompson and Ken Pyne.
Macqueen is the author of Private Eye: The First 50 Years, which was published in 2011. He has been a journalist on Private Eye since the early days of Tony Blair, in 1997. He was also on the editorial team of Popbitch, and from 1999 to 2002 was deputy editor of the Big Issue.
Additionally, on 19th August, an updated collection of the popular columns about the coronavirus crisis from Private Eye's medical correspondent “MD” will be published as Dr Hammond’s Covid Casebook.
Macqueen said: “There’s nothing more guaranteed to make you feel your age than working on the 60th anniversary book what feels like five minutes after writing the one for the 50th, but I wasn’t going to miss out on another opportunity to wallow in the archives in the company of Glenda Slagg, Sylvie Krin, Denis and Bill and the Vicar of St Albion’s. And this time it’s them who get to tell the story, because having done Private Eye’s history of Private Eye, this time it’s Private Eye’s history of absolutely everything else! And you’ll be amazed quite how much of the last six decades’ events we’ve managed to cram in to 312 pages.”
Through Nielsen BookScan, Private Eye has sold 2.5 million books in the UK for £19.3m since 1998. The Private Eye Annual has sold above 120,000 since 2018 and 2019's edition hit 134,000 copies. The First 50 Years sold 62,245 copies and companion volume A Cartoon History reached 29,197.