The Exhibition - Private Eye at 50

In August 2003, Esquire ran a story on “Why Private Eye still matters”. Eight years on as the satirical magazine marks its 50th birthday - and the world continues to go to hell in a mobile-phone handset - the case for its importance is as strong as ever.

Among the celebratory happenings is a book, Private Eye: The First 50 Years (out now), and an exhibition of the same name at the V&A displaying the best cartoons and covers selected by current editor Ian Hislop (though for the record, the trademark “speech bubble” cover concept was Peter Cook’s idea).

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For slightly mysterious reasons, they’re also recreating the editor’s desk - known, in first editor Richard Ingrams’s day, as “the Bermuda Triangle” due to his erratic filing habits - which will probably be covered in article submissions, mugs of cold tea and, given the magazine’s lively history, a handsome sheaf of lawsuits.

Private Eye: The First 50 Years, 18 October to 8 January 2012, V&A, London SW7