‘Looking blankly at absurdity’: inside the world of Private Eye’s cartoonists

Every fortnight the satirical magazine chooses a selection of the best topical cartoons, but as the artists tell us, the competition can be brutal…

Every other Monday no more than a dozen people spread across Britain sit at desks in their homes and try to come up with that week’s funniest joke. One of them is Robert Thompson, a cartoonist based in a village not far from Frome in Somerset. “It’s like being on Bake Off every week,” he says of his chosen role in life. “You are all trying to make the best sponge cake out of the same ingredients. You can get real gag envy. The others are always more brilliant. But that does mean when you get one chosen, it feels very rewarding.”

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