About Richard Reid Ingrams
Richard Ingrams (born 19 August 1937) is an English journalist, a co-founder and second editor of the British satirical magazine Private Eye, and now editor of The Oldie magazine.
Ingrams' parents were Leonard St Clair Ingrams and Victoria (née Reid), who had three other sons, including the banker and opera impresario Leonard Ingrams (1941–2005). Ingrams was educated at the independent preparatory school West Downs in Winchester, Hampshire, followed by Shrewsbury School, where he first met Willie Rushton and edited the school magazine. Before attending Oxford, he did his National Service in the army ranks after failing his interview for officer training, something which was unusual for someone from his background at the time. At University College, Oxford, where he read Classics, he shared tutorials with Robin Butler, later Cabinet Secretary and sometimes referred to as a 'pillar of the Establishment'. More importantly, he met Paul Foot, another former Shrewsbury pupil not yet the left-wing radical he became, who was to be a life-long friend, and whose biography Ingrams wrote after Foot's early death.
Along with several other Old Salopians, including Willie Rushton, Ingrams founded Private Eye in the early 1960s, taking over the editorship from Christopher Booker in 1963. It was a classic case, he claimed on Desert Island Discs in 2008, of the "old boy network". Private Eye was part of the "satire boom" of the early 1960s, which included the television show That Was The Week That Was, for which Ingrams wrote, and The Establishment nightclub, run by Peter Cook. When Private Eye ran into financial problems Cook was able to gain a majority shareholding on the proceeds of his brief but financially successful venture.
Ingrams vacated the editor's chair at the Eye in 1986, with Ian Hislop taking over. In 1992 Ingrams created and still edits The Oldie, a now monthly humorous lifestyle and issues magazine mainly aimed at the older generation. He is still Chairman of Private Eye, working there every Monday, spending four days a week in London.
He was a regular on the radio panel quiz The News Quiz for its first two decades and contributed a column to The Observer for eighteen years. In late 2005 he moved to The Independent, considering The Observer to have gone downhill, particularly as a consequence of its support for the Iraq war. In his 27 August 2011 column, he announced that he had been sacked by the newly appointed editor of The Independent.
Ingrams married Mary Morgan in 1962; they had three children: a son, Fred, who is an artist, a second son, Arthur, who was disabled and died in childhood, and a daughter, Margaret Ford, who died of a heroin overdose in Brighton in early 2004.
By 1993 he had become involved with Deborah Bosley, a former head waitress at the Groucho Club and an author, who is his junior by several decades. Bosley left him when Ingrams refused to have a child with her. Bosley found a new boyfriend, and had a son with him, but they soon split up and Bosley returned to live with Ingrams.
Ingrams plays the organ in his local Anglican church in Aldworth, Berkshire, each Sunday. The Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust was formed under the patronage of Ingrams and the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie.
A biography, Richard Ingrams: Lord of the Gnomes (ISBN 0-434-77828-1) by Harry Thompson, was published in 1994.