"The Oldie is an incredible magazine - perhaps the best magazine in the world right now" Graydon Carter, founder of Air Mail and former Editor of Vanity Fair

Subscribe to the Oldie and get a free cartoon book


Listen here to Jilly Cooper who spoke at the Oldie Literary Lunch

Blog | By Jilly Cooper | Nov 17, 2023

Jilly Cooper (picture by Neil Spence)

Jilly Cooper spoke at the National Liberal Club this week about her now book on sex and football, Tackle!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Oldies and Boldies,

I am so honoured to be here today.

Our host Harry Mount said editing the Oldie is the best job in Fleet Street. But I actually think he is the very best editor of one of the very best magazines in the world.

It's the golden Oldie, celebrating heroism, hilariously funny, touching, beautifully written, constantly battling to keep Great Britain great. And for example protecting Shakespeare and Dickens from being censored and rewritten.

And what is so lovely is that heroes and heroines from the past keep leaping out of the pages in fascinating detail. Like the great poet WH Auden being a heavy drinker, who at parties would mix dry martinis in a large jug and then knock back the lot. And we meet again childhood favourites like Orlando the Marmalade Cat and homesick Mole from the Wind in the Willows.

And blissfully learned that, at one of Elizabeth Taylor’s post Richard Burton weddings, her bridesmaid was one of Michael Jackson’s chimpanzees.

I also love dear Virginia Ironside urging us oldies to look as good as we can: “With a bit of trouble and imagination,“ she claims, “you can easily look like some glorious old ruin such as Tintern Abbey.“

The Oldie has so many wonderful literary references but I have to confess I’m nervous today because I’m aware of not being a very literary author.

The Daily Mail once said I was such a bad writer, I made Jeffrey Archer look like Dostoyevsky.