The day that Cookie took on Captain Bob

Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, remembers ...
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Indy Lifestyle Online
"He was a brilliant proprietor of the Eye, the great hands-off proprietor, but he was always around when there was trouble. Whenever I was in court and about to lose £1m, he would turn up and take me out to lunch, and say that it wasn't too serio us, really.

My single favourite memory is the commando raid on the Mirror building that he organised in the late Eighties when Robert Maxwell was about to produce a magazine called Not Private Eye. Maxwell had sued us, WH Smith had pulled us off sale but were proposing to sell his magazine. We desperately needed to get hold of a dummy issue if we were to stop them. No one could think how to do it, so Cookie sent over a crate of whisky to the Mirror office with his compliments, thinking, rightly, that the people working on the dummy didn't want to do it.

Three-quarters of an hour later he rang them up to find they were legless and said, `Oh, we'll come and join you.' So five of us got into a taxi, breezed over and went straight up to Maxwell's office. Cookie sat at Maxwell's desk and ordered champagne, we wrote Hello Bob on the windows and called him up in New York.

It was a brilliant raid and entirely Cookie's idea. I'm very sad he's gone."

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