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June 23, 2014

Jilly Cooper says she will no longer read The Oldie without ‘legendary’ Richard Ingrams as editor

By William Turvill and Dominic Ponsford

Journalist turned best-selling author Jilly Cooper has become the latest high-profile figure to give her backing to Richard Ingrams following his departure from The Oldie.

Cooper, a friend of Ingrams, says she will not be reading the magazine, nor attending its parties, without Ingrams there.

She told Press Gazette that she expects other readers to cancel their subscriptions when they find out the "legendary" Ingrams is no longer at the helm. 

Asked if she will be doing the same, Cooper said: "They send me a free one… So how can I get around that?"

On The Oldie under Ingrams, Cooper, who phoned up Press Gazette to register her support for him, said: “It’s brilliant. It is such a comfort to geriatrics like me. It’s terribly, terribly funny without being unkind. It’s a brilliant magazine.”

Asked whether she thought the magazine could succeed under new editor Alexander Chancellor, she said: “Anybody who wasn’t Richard wouldn’t be the same, I don’t see how it can be.

“He writes beautifully himself and is so well read that he gets other people to raise their game.

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“I’d like to see him reinstated and the magazine back as it was. It is a lovely magazine which makes us Oldies feel like we are all in it together.”

Cooper joins the likes of Sir Terry Wogan, BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney and at least 12 other contributors, and two members of staff, in withdrawing their support from The Oldie in recent weeks.

Ingrams resigned from The Oldie on 30 May after being summoned to a disciplinary hearing brought by publisher James Pembroke. 

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