The New Statesman is a British political and cultural magazine published in London. Founded as a weekly review of politics and literature on 12 April 1913, it was connected then with Sidney and Beatrice Webb and other leading members of the socialist Fabian Society, such as George Bernard Shaw who was a founding director. They had supported The New Age, a journal edited by A. R. Orage, but by 1912 that journal moved away editorially from supporting Fabian politics and women's suffrage.
The magazine was founded in 1913 by members of the Fabian Society as a weekly review of politics and literature. The longest-serving editor was Kingsley Martin (1930–60), and the current editor is Jason Cowley, who assumed the post in 2008. The magazine has notably recognized and published new writers and critics, as well as encouraged major careers. Its contributors have included John Maynard Keynes, Bertrand Russell, Virginia Woolf, Christopher Hitchens, and Paul Johnson.
Historically, the magazine was affectionately referred to as "The Staggers" because of crises in funding, ownership, and circulation. The nickname is now used as the title of its politics blog.
Circulation was at its highest in the 1960s but has surged again in recent years. In 2016, the certified average circulation was 34,025. Traffic to the magazine's website that year reached a new high with 27 million page views and four million unique users. Associated websites are CityMetric, Spotlight and NewStatesman Tech. In 2018, New Statesman America was launched.
|Categories||Politics, geopolitics, books and culture and foreign affairs|
|Founder||Sidney and Beatrice Webb|
|First issue||12 April 1913|
The New Statesman was founded in 1913 by Sidney and Beatrice Webb with the support of George Bernard Shaw and other prominent members of the Fabian Society. The Fabians previously had supported The New Age but that journal by 1912 had moved away from supporting Fabian politics and issues such as women's suffrage. The first editor of the New Statesman was Clifford Sharp, who remained editor until 1928. Desmond MacCarthy joined the paper in 1913 and became literary editor, recruiting Cyril Connolly to the staff in 1928. J.C. Squire edited the magazine when Sharp was on wartime duties during the First World War.
In November 1914, three months after the beginning of the war, the New Statesmen published a lengthy anti-war supplement by Shaw, "Common Sense About The War", a scathing dissection of its causes, which castigated all nations involved but particularly savaged the British. It sold a phenomenal 75,000 copies by the end of the year and created an international sensation. The New York Times reprinted it as America began its lengthy debate on entering what was then called "the European War".
During Sharp's last two years in the post, from around 1926, he was debilitated by chronic alcoholism and the paper was actually edited by his deputy Charles Mostyn Lloyd. Although the Webbs and most Fabians were closely associated with the Labour Party, Sharp was drawn increasingly to the Asquith Liberals.
Lloyd stood in after Sharp's departure until the appointment of Kingsley Martin as editor in 1930 – a position Martin was to hold for 30 years.
In 1931 the New Statesman merged with the Liberal weekly The Nation and Athenaeum and changed its name to the New Statesman and Nation, which it kept until 1964. The chairman of The Nation and Athenaeum's board was the economist John Maynard Keynes, who came to be an important influence on the newly merged paper, which started with a circulation of just under 13,000. It also absorbed The Week-end Review in 1934 (one element of which survives in the shape of the New Statesman's Weekly Competition, and the other the 'This England' feature). The Competition feature, in which readers submitted jokes and often parodies and pastiches of the work of famous authors, became one of the most famous parts of the magazine. Most famously, Graham Greene won second prize in a challenge to parody his own work.
During the 1930s, Martin's New Statesman moved markedly to the left politically. It became strongly anti-fascist and pacifist, opposing British rearmament. After the 1938 Anschluss, Martin wrote: "Today if Mr. Chamberlain would come forward and tell us that his policy was really one not only of isolation but also of Little Englandism in which the Empire was to be given up because it could not be defended and in which military defence was to be abandoned because war would totally end civilization, we for our part would wholeheartedly support him."
The magazine provoked further controversy with its coverage of Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union. In 1932, Keynes reviewed Martin's book on the Soviet Union, Low's Russian Sketchbook. Keynes argued that Martin was 'a little too full perhaps of good will' towards Stalin, and that any doubts about Stalin's rule had 'been swallowed down if possible'. Martin was irritated by Keynes's article but still allowed it to be printed. In a 17 September 1932 editorial, the magazine accused the British Conservative press of misrepresenting the Soviet Union's agricultural policy but added that "the serious nature of the food situation is no secret and no invention". The magazine defended the Soviet collectivization policy, but also said the policy had 'proceeded far too quickly and lost the cooperation of farmers'. In 1934 it ran an interview with Stalin by H. G. Wells. Although sympathetic to aspects of the Soviet Union, Wells disagreed with Stalin on several issues. The debate resulted in several more articles in the magazine; in one of them, George Bernard Shaw accused Wells of being disrespectful to Stalin during the interview.
In 1938 came Martin's refusal to publish George Orwell's celebrated dispatches from Barcelona during the Spanish civil war because they criticised the communists for suppressing the anarchists and the left-wing Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM). 'It is an unfortunate fact,' Martin wrote to Orwell, 'that any hostile criticism of the present Russian regime is liable to be taken as propaganda against socialism'. Martin also refused to allow any of the magazine's writers to review Leon Trotsky's anti-Stalinist book The Revolution Betrayed.
Martin became more critical of Stalin after the Hitler-Stalin pact, claiming Stalin was 'adopting the familiar technique of the Fuhrer' and adding, 'Like Hitler, he [Stalin] has a contempt for all arguments except that of superior force.' The magazine also condemned the Soviet Invasion of Finland.
Circulation grew enormously under Martin's editorship, reaching 70,000 by the end of the Second World War. This number helped the magazine become a key player in Labour politics. The paper welcomed Labour's 1945 general election victory but took a critical line on the new government's foreign policy. The young Labour MP Richard Crossman, who had been an assistant editor for the magazine before the war, was Martin's chief lieutenant in this period, and the Statesman published Keep Left, the pamphlet written by Crossman, Michael Foot and Ian Mikardo, that most succinctly laid out the Labour left's proposals for a "third force" foreign policy rather than alliance with the United States.
During the 1950s, the New Statesman remained a left critic of British foreign and defence policy and of the Labour leadership of Hugh Gaitskell, although Martin never got on personally with Aneurin Bevan, the leader of the anti-Gaitskellite Labour faction. The magazine opposed the Korean War, and an article by J. B. Priestley directly led to the founding of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
There was much less focus on a single political line in the back part of the paper, which was devoted to book reviews and articles on cultural topics. Indeed, with these pages managed by Janet Adam Smith, who was literary editor from 1952 to 1960, the paper was sometimes described as a pantomime horse: its back half was required reading even for many who disagreed with the paper's politics. This tradition would continue into the 1960s with Karl Miller as Smith's replacement.
Martin retired in 1960 and was replaced as editor by John Freeman, a politician and journalist who had resigned from the Labour government in 1951 with Bevan and Harold Wilson. Freeman left in 1965 and was followed in the chair by Paul Johnson, then on the left, under whose editorship the Statesman reached its highest ever circulation. For some, even enemies of Johnson such as Richard Ingrams, this was a strong period for the magazine editorially.
After Johnson's departure in 1970, the Statesman went into a long period of declining circulation under successive editors: Richard Crossman (1970–72), who tried to edit it at the same time as playing a major role in Labour politics; Anthony Howard (1972–78), whose recruits to the paper included Christopher Hitchens, Martin Amis and James Fenton (surprisingly, the arch anti-Socialist Auberon Waugh was writing for the Statesman at this time before returning to The Spectator); Bruce Page (1978–82), who moved the paper towards specialising in investigative journalism, sacking Arthur Marshall, who had been writing for the Statesman on and off since 1935, as a columnist, allegedly because of the latter's support for Margaret Thatcher; Hugh Stephenson (1982–86), under whom it took a strong position again for unilateral nuclear disarmament; John Lloyd (1986–87), who swung the paper's politics back to the centre; Stuart Weir (1987–90), under whose editorship the Statesman founded the Charter 88 constitutional reform pressure group; and Steve Platt (1990–96).
The Statesman acquired the weekly New Society in 1988 and merged with it, becoming New Statesman and Society for the next eight years, then reverting to the old title, having meanwhile absorbed Marxism Today in 1991. In 1993, the Statesman was sued by Prime Minister John Major after it published an article discussing rumours that Major was having an extramarital affair with a Downing Street caterer. Although the action was settled out of court for a minimal sum, the magazine's legal costs almost led to its closure.
In 1994, KGB defector Yuri Shvets said that the KGB utilised the New Statesman to spread disinformation. Shvets said that the KGB had provided disinformation, including forged documents, to the New Statesman journalist Claudia Wright which she used for anti-American and anti-Israel stories in line with the KGB's campaigns. By 1996 the magazine was selling 23,000 copies a week. New Statesman was the first periodical to go online, hosted by the www.cleanroom.co.uk, in 1995.
The New Statesman was rescued from near-bankruptcy by a takeover by businessman Philip Jeffrey but in 1996, after prolonged boardroom wrangling over Jeffrey's plans, it was sold to Geoffrey Robinson, the Labour MP and businessman. Following Steve Platt's resignation, Robinson appointed a former editor of The Independent , Ian Hargreaves, on what was at the time an unprecedentedly high salary. Hargreaves fired most of the left-wingers on the staff and turned the Statesman into a strong supporter of Tony Blair being Labour's leader.
Hargreaves was succeeded by Peter Wilby, also from the Independent stable, who had previously been the Statesman′s books editor, in 1998. Wilby attempted to reposition the paper back "on the left". His stewardship was not without controversy. In 2002, for example, the periodical was accused of antisemitism when it published an investigative cover story on the power of the "Zionist lobby" in Britain, under the title "A Kosher Conspiracy?". The cover was illustrated with a gold Star of David resting on a Union Jack. Wilby responded to the criticisms in a subsequent issue. During Wilby's relatively long tenure of seven years, the New Statesman moved from making a financial loss to having a good operating profit, though circulation only remained steady at around 23,000.
John Kampfner, Wilby's political editor, succeeded him as editor in May 2005 following considerable internal lobbying. Under Kampfner's editorship, a relaunch in 2006 initially saw headline circulation climb to over 30,000. However, over 5,000 of these were apparently monitored free copies, and Kampfner failed to maintain the 30,000 circulation he had pledged. In February 2008, Audit Bureau Circulation figures showed that circulation had plunged nearly 13% in 2007. Kampfner resigned on 13 February 2008, the day before the ABC figures were made public, reportedly due to conflicts with Robinson over the magazine's marketing budget (which Robinson had apparently slashed in reaction to the fall in circulation).
In April 2008 Geoffrey Robinson sold a 50% interest in the magazine to businessman Mike Danson, and the remainder a year later. The appointment of the new editor Jason Cowley was announced on 16 May 2008 but he did not take up the job until the end of September 2008.
In January 2009, the magazine refused to recognise the National Union of Journalists, the trade union to which almost of all its journalists belonged, though further discussions were promised but never materialised.
In 2009, Cowley was named current-affairs editor of the year at the British Society of Magazine Editors awards and in 2011, he was named editor of the year in the Newspaper & Current Affairs Magazine Category at the British Society of Magazine Editors awards, while Jon Bernstein, the deputy editor, gained the award for Consumer Website Editor of the Year. Cowley had been shortlisted as Editor of the Year (consumer magazines) in the 2012 PPA (Professional Publishers Association) Awards. He was also shortlisted for the European Press Prize editing award in January 2013, when the awards committee said: "Cowley has succeeded in revitalising the New Statesman and re-establishing its position as an influential political and cultural weekly. He has given the New Statesman an edge and a relevance to current affairs it hasn’t had for years."
In April 2013 the magazine published a 186-page centenary special, the largest single issue in its history. It also published two special editions (250 and 150 pages) showcasing 100 years of the best and boldest journalism from its archives.The following year it expanded its web presence by establishing two new websites: May2015.com, a polling data site focused on the 2015 general election, and CityMetric, a cities magazine site under the tagline, "Urbanism for the social media age" and edited by Jonn Elledge, King of the Numtots.
In December 2016, it was announced that the Weekend Competition, a feature inherited from The Week-end Review, would be discontinued, for reasons of space.
As of 2017 the New Statesman considers itself a "print-digital hybrid" with peak online traffic of over 4 million unique visitors per month, almost a four-fold increase since 2011. This compares to the magazine circulation of 34,000.
At the 2017 British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME) awards, editor Jason Cowley was named Current Affairs and Politics editor of the year for the third time, defeating rivals from The Spectator, The Economist and Prospect. "The winning title is consistently fresh and thought provoking. In a very strong category it stood out for its eloquence and independent views," the BSME judges said, on presenting the award.
The magazine's Spotlight series (which publishes specialist business content) also won the Launch of the Year award, with judges describing the supplements as a "great example of monetising a brand without losing its integrity".
In March 2009 the magazine had its first guest editor, Alastair Campbell, the former head of communications for Tony Blair. Campbell chose to feature his partner Fiona Millar, Tony Blair (in an article "Why we must all do God"), football manager Alex Ferguson, and Sarah Brown, the wife of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. This editorship was condemned by Suzanne Moore, a contributor to the magazine for twenty years. She wrote in a Mail on Sunday article: "New Statesman fiercely opposed the Iraq war and yet now hands over the reins to someone key in orchestrating that conflict". Campbell responded: "I had no idea she worked for the New Statesman. I don't read the Mail on Sunday. But professing commitment to leftwing values in that rightwing rag lends a somewhat weakened credibility to anything she says."
In October 2010 the magazine was guest-edited by the British author and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg. The issue included a previously unpublished poem by Ted Hughes, "Last letter", describing what happened during the three days leading up to the suicide of his first wife, the poet Sylvia Plath. Its first line is: "What happened that night? Your final night."—and the poem ends with the moment Hughes is informed of his wife's death.
In April 2011 the magazine was guest-edited by the human rights activist Jemima Khan. The issue featured a series of exclusives including the actor Hugh Grant's secret recording of former News of the World journalist Paul McMullan), and a much-commented-on interview with Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, in which Clegg admitted that he "cries regularly to music" and that his nine-year-old son asked him, "'Why are the students angry with you, Papa?'"
In June 2011 Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury created a furore as guest editor by claiming that the Coalition government had introduced "radical, long term policies for which no one had voted" and in doing so had created "anxiety and anger" among many in the country. He was accused of being highly partisan, notwithstanding his having invited Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary to write an article and having interviewed the Foreign Secretary William Hague in the same edition. He also noted that the Labour Party had failed to offer an alternative to what he called "associational socialism". The Statesman promoted the edition on the basis of Williams' alleged attack on the government, whereas Williams himself had ended his article by asking for "a democracy capable of real argument about shared needs and hopes and real generosity".
In December 2011 the magazine was guest-edited by Richard Dawkins. The issue included the writer Christopher Hitchens's final interview, conducted by Dawkins in Texas, and pieces by Bill Gates, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Philip Pullman.
In October 2012 the magazine was guest-edited by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei and, for the first time, published simultaneously in Mandarin (in digital form) and English. To evade China's internet censors, the New Statesman uploaded the issue to file-sharing sites such as BitTorrent. As well as writing that week's editorial, Ai Weiwei interviewed the Chinese civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng, who fled to the United States after exposing the use of compulsory abortions and sterilisations. The issue was launched on 19 October 2012 at The Lisson Gallery in London, where speakers including artist Anish Kapoor and lawyer Mark Stephens paid tribute to Ai Weiwei.
In October 2013 the magazine was guest-edited by Russell Brand, with contributions from David Lynch, Noel Gallagher, Naomi Klein, Rupert Everett, Amanda Palmer, and Alec Baldwin, as well as an essay by Brand.
In October 2014, the magazine was guest-edited by the artist Grayson Perry, whose essay titled "Default Man" was widely discussed.
The former British prime minister Gordon Brown guest-edited the magazine in 2016, a special edition exploring Britain's relationship with Europe ahead of the EU referendum. Contributors to the issue included the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and Michael Sandel.
Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was a British-American author, columnist, essayist, orator, journalist, and social critic. Hitchens was the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of over 30 books, including five collections of essays on culture, politics and literature. A staple of public discourse, his confrontational style of debate made him both a lauded intellectual and a controversial public figure. He contributed to New Statesman, The Nation, The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Slate, Free Inquiry and Vanity Fair.
Having long described himself as a democratic socialist, Marxist and an anti-totalitarian, he broke from the political left after what he called the "tepid reaction" of the Western left to the Satanic Verses controversy, followed by the left's embrace of Bill Clinton and the antiwar movement's opposition to NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s. His support of the Iraq War separated him further. His writings include critiques of public figures Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Mother Teresa and Diana, Princess of Wales. He was the elder brother of the conservative journalist and author Peter Hitchens.
As an antitheist, he regarded concepts of a god or supreme being as a totalitarian belief that impedes individual freedom. He argued in favour of free expression and scientific discovery, and that it was superior to religion as an ethical code of conduct for human civilization. He also advocated for the separation of church and state. The dictum "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" has become known as Hitchens's razor.Current affairs (news format)
Current affairs is a genre of broadcast journalism
This differs from regular news broadcasts that place emphasis on news reports presented for simple presentation as soon as possible, often with a minimum of analysis. It is also different from the news magazine show format, in that the events are discussed immediately.
The UK's Office programmes such as This World, Panorama, Real Story, BBC Scotland Investigates, Spotlight, Week In Week Out, and Inside Out also fit the definition.In Canada, CBC Radio produces a number of current affairs show both nationally such as The Current and As it Happens as well as regionally with morning current affairs shows such as Information Morning, a focus the radio network developed in the 1970s as a way to recapture audience from television.Additionally, newspapers such as the Private Eye, the Economist, Monocle, the Spectator, the Week, the Oldie, the Investors Chronicle, Prospect, MoneyWeek, the New Statesman, TIME, Fortune, the BBC History Magazine and History Today are all sometimes referred to as current affairs magazines.Jason Cowley
Jason Cowley is an English journalist, magazine editor and writer. After working at the New Statesman, he became the editor of Granta in September 2007, while also remaining a writer on The Observer. He returned to the New Statesman as its editor in September 2008.Jemima Goldsmith
Jemima Marcelle Khan (née Goldsmith, born 30 January 1974) is a British TV, film and documentary producer and founder of Instinct Productions, a television production company. She was formerly a journalist, and associate editor of The New Statesman, a British political and cultural magazine, and European editor-at-large for Vanity Fair. Goldsmith married Pakistani cricketer and politician Imran Khan in 1995, and had two sons. The couple divorced in 2004.John Harris (critic)
John Rhys Harris (born 1969) is a British journalist, writer, and critic. He is the author of The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the Demise of English Rock (2003), So Now Who Do We Vote For? which examined the 2005 UK general election, a 2006 behind-the-scenes look at the production of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, and Hail! Hail! Rock'n'Roll (2009). His articles have appeared in Select, Q, Mojo, Shindig!, Rolling Stone, The Independent, the New Statesman, The Times, and The Guardian.Kingsley Martin
Basil Kingsley Martin (28 July 1897, London, England – 16 February 1969, Cairo, Egypt), usually known as Kingsley Martin, was a British journalist who edited the left-leaning political magazine the New Statesman from 1930 to 1960.Laurie Penny
Laurie Penny (born 28 September 1986) is an English columnist and author. She has contributed articles to publications such as The Guardian and the New Statesman, and has written two books on feminism.Martian poetry
Martian poetry was a minor movement in British poetry in the late 1970s and early 1980s, in which everyday things and human behaviour are described in a strange way, as if by a visiting Martian who does not understand them. Poets most closely associated with it are Craig Raine and Christopher Reid.
The term Martianism has also been applied more widely to include fiction as well as to poetry. The word martianism is, coincidentally, an anagram of one of its principal exponents, Martin Amis, who promoted the work of both Raine and Reid in the Times Literary Supplement and the New Statesman.Mehdi Hasan
Mehdi Raza Hasan (born July 1979) is a British political journalist, broadcaster and author.
Hasan is the co-author of a biography of Ed Miliband and the political editor of the UK version of The Huffington Post. He is the presenter of the Al Jazeera English shows: The Café, Head to Head and UpFront.In 2015, Hasan moved to Washington, D.C. to work full-time for Al Jazeera on UpFront and hosts the Deconstructed podcast on the investigative journal The Intercept.Nick Cohen
Nicholas Cohen (born 1961) is a British journalist, author and political commentator. He is a columnist for The Observer, a blogger for The Spectator and TV critic for Standpoint magazine. He has written for the London Evening Standard, the New Statesman and The New European.
Born in Stockport and raised in Manchester, Cohen studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University before entering journalism.Owen Jones (writer)
Owen Peter Jones (born 8 August 1984) is an English newspaper columnist, political commentator, and left-wing political activist. He writes a column for The Guardian and contributes to the New Statesman and Tribune; he previously contributed to The Independent.Paul Johnson (writer)
Paul Bede Johnson (born 2 November 1928) is an English journalist, popular historian, speechwriter, and author. While associated with the political left in his early career, he is now a conservative popular historian.
Johnson was educated at the Jesuit independent school Stonyhurst College, and at Magdalen College, Oxford. He first came to prominence in the 1950s as a journalist writing for and later editing the New Statesman magazine. A prolific writer, Johnson has written over 40 books and contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers. His sons include the journalist Daniel Johnson, founder of Standpoint, and the businessman Luke Johnson, former chairman of Channel 4.Peter Wilby
Peter John Wilby (born 7 November 1944) is a British journalist. He is a former editor of The Independent on Sunday and the New Statesman.Press Gazette
Press Gazette, formerly known as UK Press Gazette (UKPG), is a British media trade magazine dedicated to journalism and the press. First published in 1965, it had a circulation of about 2,500, before becoming online-only in 2010. Published with the motto Fighting For Journalism, it contains news from the worlds of newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and online, dealing with launches, closures, moves, legislation and technological advances affecting journalists.
Commercially, it is funded by subscriptions and by publication of recruitment and classified advertising, as well as occasional display advertising. Since 2010 it has been owned by Progressive Media International, which also owns the magazines New Statesman and Spear's.Richard Cook (journalist)
Richard David Cook (7 February 1957 – 25 August 2007) was a British jazz writer, magazine editor and former record company executive.
Sometimes credited as R. D. Cook, Cook was born in Kew, Surrey and lived in west London as an adult. He was co-author, with Brian Morton, of The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (formerly ...on CD), which lasted for ten editions until 2010. Richard Cook's Jazz Companion and It's About That Time: Miles Davis On and Off the Record were published in 2005.
A writer on music from the late 1970s until he died, he was a contributor to the NME,(often writing confused reviews of punk and new wave artists when venturing away from jazz) the jazz critic for The Sunday Times and later a music writer for the New Statesman. Cook was formerly editor of The Wire, when it was a jazz centred periodical (it broadened its coverage towards the end of his editorship), and edited Jazz Review magazine from its foundation in 1998. Jazz Review continued for a time after his death, using Cook's approach to the music as continuing inspiration; it did not name a specific successor (Morton) for six months. Cook also presented a programme on jazz for BBC local radio GLR.
Cook was the UK jazz catalogue manager for PolyGram (1992–97) and also produced albums by the trumpeter Guy Barker. During his spell at PolyGram, Cook launched the short-lived 'Redial' re-issue line of classic British jazz albums. In 2002, he was responsible for issuing a 10 CD limited-edition set by the American avant-garde pianist Cecil Taylor of 1990 recordings, 2Ts for a Lovely T, which was on the Codanza label.
Cook died of cancer on 25 August 2007, aged 50, in London.Rik Mayall
Richard Michael Mayall (7 March 1958 – 9 June 2014) was an English comedian, actor and writer. Mayall formed a close partnership with Ade Edmondson while they were students at Manchester University, and became a pioneer of alternative comedy in the 1980s.
Mayall starred in numerous cult classic sitcoms throughout his career, including The Young Ones, The Comic Strip Presents..., Blackadder, Filthy Rich & Catflap, The New Statesman, and Bottom. Mayall also starred in the comedy films Drop Dead Fred and Guest House Paradiso, and won a Primetime Emmy Award for his voice-over work in The Willows in Winter. His comedic style was described as energetic "post-punk".Mayall died suddenly on 9 June 2014 at the age of 56. BBC Television director Danny Cohen praised him as a "truly brilliant" comedian with a unique stage presence, whose "fireball creativity" and approach to sitcom had inspired a generation of comedy stars.Russell Brand
Russell Edward Brand (born 4 June 1975) is an English comedian, actor, radio host, author, and activist.
After beginning his career as a stand-up comedian and later becoming an MTV presenter, Brand first achieved renown in 2004 as the host of Big Brother's Big Mouth, a Big Brother spin-off. In 2007, he had his first major film role in St Trinian's, and the following year he landed a major role in the romantic comedy-drama Forgetting Sarah Marshall; the film led to him starring in a spin off, the rock comedy Get Him to the Greek, alongside Jonah Hill in 2010. He also worked as a voice actor in the animated films Despicable Me in 2010, Hop in 2011, and Despicable Me 2 in 2013, and played the title character of the 2011 remake of the romantic comedy Arthur. In 2013, he released the successful stand-up special Messiah Complex.
Since guest editing an edition of British political weekly New Statesman in 2013, Brand has become known as a public activist and campaigner, and has spoken on a wide range of political and cultural issues, including wealth inequality, addiction, corporate capitalism, climate change, and media bias. In 2014, Brand launched his political-comedy web series The Trews, released a book entitled Revolution, and began work on a documentary about financial inequality with Michael Winterbottom.
Over the course of his career, Brand has been the subject of frequent media coverage and controversy for issues such as his promiscuity and drug use, his outrageous behaviour at various award ceremonies, his dismissal from MTV and resignation from the BBC, and his two-year marriage with singer Katy Perry. He has incorporated many of his controversial public antics into his comedic material. A biographical documentary called Brand: A Second Coming was released in 2015.The New Statesman
The New Statesman is a British sitcom made in the late 1980s and early 1990s satirising the United Kingdom's Conservative Party Government of the period. It was written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran at the request of, and as a starring vehicle for, its principal actor Rik Mayall.
The show's theme song is an arrangement by Alan Hawkshaw of part of the Promenade from Pictures at an Exhibition by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky.
The programme was made by the ITV franchise Yorkshire Television between 1987 and 1992, although the BBC made two special episodes; one in 1988, the other in 1994.Z Communications
Z Communications is a left-wing activist-oriented media group founded in 1986 by Michael Albert and Lydia Sargent. It is, in broad terms, ideologically libertarian socialist, anticapitalist, and heavily influenced by participatory economics, although much of its content is focused on critical commentary of foreign affairs. Its publications include Z Magazine, ZNet, and Z Video.