Journalists’ Charity Award Winner 2012
This year’s winner of the Journalists’ Charity’s Special Award, presented as part of the National Press Awards, is Richard Ingrams, editor of The Oldie and a former editor of Private Eye magazine. Richard has been a major figure in journalism since deciding that editing Private Eye might be preferable to pursuing a career as an actor.
He was co-founder of the satirical and investigative magazine with Christopher Booker, Paul Foot and Willie Rushton, who had all met at Shrewsbury School. Ingrams became editor of the Eye after Booker’s short tenure and remained so for 23 years. After relinquishing the editorship in 1986 to found and launch The Oldie magazine, he remained a key member of the team, writing jokes and remaining a director until his eventual departure at the end of last year. He was critical of the book which last year celebrated the magazine’s half-century – and not only because it spelled his name wrongly.
Like Private Eye, The Oldie, which celebrates its 20th birthday this year, continues to grow in stature and circulation, apparently impervious to the many wounding influences that have beset print journalism in recent years. Ingrams wrote a weekly column for The Observer and then, until last year, The Independent. He has twice been invited to choose his Desert Island Discs, where he was described as “one of the godfathers of contemporary British satire”, and on each occasion chose a piano-tuning manual as his book and a grand piano as his luxury. He is a talented church organist, an attribute ignored by The Daily Telegraph when describing him as “columnist, biographer, amateur historian, wit, publisher, scourge of the pseudo, and gadfly on the hide of the BBC”.
The award – within the gift of the Charity’s council and presented to an individual or body that has made an outstanding contribution to journalism and journalists in any way – was presented during the Press Awards dinner at the Lancaster Hotel, London, on March 20.