Alexander Chancellor yesterday gently lowered himself into the editor’s seat at The Oldie magazine nearly four decades after taking on a similar role at The Spectator.
The veteran journalist takes over from Richard Ingrams, who founded The Oldie 22 years ago but resigned earlier this month following a spat with its publisher James Pembroke.
In an attempt to bury the hatchet, Pembroke issued a tribute to the former Private Eye editor saying he was “the greatest post-war editor” and could “claim to have had the greatest impact on journalism in the last 50 years”.
Announcing the appointment of Chancellor he wryly noted that the new editor was “74 going on 73” and “uses email and has a mobile phone with which to speak to his many friends”. Rather ominously, Pembroke said he could “see no reason” why the magazine could not increase circulation from the current 45,000 to 60,000. “Punch was a weekly, and sold 80,000 in the 1980s,” he said.
Chancellor, former editor of The Independent magazine, will not try to meet these targets by foisting new-fangled ideas on Oldie readers. “[Ingrams] made it a haven for all who are fearful and uncomprehending of the all-pervasive ‘yoof’ culture of today, and so I intend it to remain,” he said.