The Inside Story of Viz: Rude Kids
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This is the straight-talking, fascinating story of Viz magazine, founded in 1979 by Chris Donald – editor until 1999. Chris tells the remarkable story of the magazine, from the tatty rag produced in his Newcastle bedroom to becoming one of the bestselling magazines in the UK.
Chris was the creator of many of the characters and was responsible for all the magazine’s written content. Characters from the magazine, such as Sid the Sexist and the Fat Slags, are now household names.
This is an engaging tale told in Chris’s unique, wry way. Chris takes us from his train-spotting childhood in the ’70s through to setting up the magazine with family and friends, and struggling to sell even a few copies of Viz in the local pub. The comic’s success swiftly grew, however, and remarkable events ensued, such as how Chris was invited to tea by Prince Charles, taken in for questioning by New Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorist Branch and caught his wife up to no good with Keith Richards in Peter Cook's attic.
Chris includes many original drawings in this integrated book as well as some fascinating images of early Viz creations.
Barry the Cat (CD/GD/SD/ST 1989) Bart Conrad Store Detective (CD 1982) Baxter Basics (ST/GD 1994) Bees of Barnton Hall (DJ 1993) Ben and the Space Walrus (CD 1979) Ben Turpin in Prime Suspect 6 (GD/ST 1996) Benny’s Hedges (DJ 1991) Bereavement Beavers (DJ 1996) Bernie Winter’s Circus of Horrors (ST 1994) Bert the Burglar (RR 1986) Bertie Blunt ‘His parrot’s a cunt’ (Sean Agnew 1988) Biffa Bacon (CD 1981) Big Vern (CD 1982) Billy Bananahead (GD 1986) Billy Bar and his Invisible Car
town looking for suitably disaffected young people to take part. Something Else was a product of the BBC’s Community Programme Unit, and the idea of the show was to give ‘the kids’ access to television. When we met the two producers they explained that we, the kids, were going to make the programme, not them, the boring grown-ups. They were just going to help us a little. They hand-picked a panel of five appropriately discontented youths from the area, all of whom had got ‘something to say’. As
‘fudge’. When I got the typesetting back I’d carefully cut the letters ‘fu’ out from the ‘fudge’ and glue them down on top of the ‘bu’ in ‘buck’, to make ‘fuck’. It was a laborious process but well worth it as we couldn’t possibly have risked offending Gladys or any of the ladies who worked for her. I was still desperate to find new cartoonists to help fill the pages. We got a lot of stuff sent in by would-be contributors but most of it was hopelessly crude and vulgar. Every now and then there
direction of Mrs Stella Shacklady, a combative Bristol housewife who had been quoted saying some uncomplimentary things about Viz in her local newspaper. Unfortunately when interviewed on camera Mrs Shacklady turned out to be disappointingly reasonable. The star of the programme was without doubt TV presenter Keith Chegwin who claimed that Viz had ruined his career by printing a story about him having no talent. Chegwin gave a magnificent performance as a down-and-out, wearing tramps’ clothing
reactionary old farts in the Viz office, myself included, didn’t approve of the changes that were taking place. We hated dance music and the irritating new voices of Simon Mayo and Danny Baker. We’d stopped listening to Radio 1 in our drawing studio, while the rest of the nation had stopped listening to it in their droves. Audience figures had fallen from 20 million listeners to 8 million in six months. At around the same time Richard Branson launched Virgin Radio, a barely audible AM station