Celebrated cartoonist Barry Fantoni retires after 47 years at Private Eye

Veteran cartoonist Barry Fantoni retires from the magazine after 47 years to write detective fiction

Veteran cartoonist and contributor at satirical magazine Private Eye, Barry Fantoni, is retiring from the magazine after 47 years to write detective fiction and pen his memoirs.

The 70-year-old veteran, who began his long and distinguished career at Private Eye during the 1960s, has contributed to 1247 issues of the magazine so far, having missed out on only 31 of its issues.

The cartoonist has created some iconic characters for the magazine, including obituary poet EJ Thribb. Fantoni also collaborated with former editor Richard Ingrams to create Private Eye's royal correspondent Sylvie Krin. His more recent contributions include popular cartoon Scenes You Seldom See.

Talking about his retirement, Fantoni told the Guardian, "The decision to leave was not easy - people usually leave Private Eye when they die - but when you feel you've made your last joke, that's really it."

On the future of EJ Thribb's Poetry Corner, Fantoni said Private Eye editor Ian Hislop had not yet decided on whether to continue the section.

Besides working full time at Private Eye, Fantoni was the diary cartoonist for the Times between 1983 and 1991, and drew cartoons for the Listener and Radio Times. He also had stints as the Times' art critic and reviewed records for Punch magazine in the 1970s.