Craig Brown (satirist)

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Craig Edward Moncrieff Brown (born 23 May 1957) is an English critic and satirist, best known for his parodies in Private Eye.

Life and career[edit]

Brown was educated at Eton and Bristol University and then became a freelance journalist in London,[1] contributing to The Tatler, The Spectator, The Times Literary Supplement, Literary Review, the Evening Standard (as a regular columnist), The Times (notably as parliamentary sketchwriter; these columns were compiled into a book called A Life Inside) and The Sunday Times (as TV and restaurant critic). He later continued his restaurant column in The Sunday Telegraph and has contributed a weekly book review to The Mail on Sunday. He created the characters of 'Bel Littlejohn', an ultra-trendy New Labour type, in The Guardian, and 'Wallace Arnold', an extremely reactionary conservative, in The Independent on Sunday. In 2001, he took over Auberon Waugh's "Way of the World" in The Daily Telegraph following Waugh's death but Brown lost that column in December 2008. Brown also has a column in the Daily Mail.

Brown also writes comedy shows such as Norman Ormal for TV (in which he appeared as a returning officer) and his radio show This Is Craig Brown was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2004. It featured comics Rory Bremner and Harry Enfield and other media personalities. He has appeared on television as a critic on BBC Two's Late Review as well as in documentaries such a Russell Davies's life of Ronald Searle.

His book 1966 and All That takes its title, and some other elements, from 1066 and All That, extending its history of Britain through to the beginning of the 21st century. A BBC Radio 4 adaptation followed in September 2006, in similar vein to This Is Craig Brown. The Tony Years is a comic overview of the years of Tony Blair's government, published in paperback by Ebury Press in June 2007.

Brown's predominantly factual biography of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret, was published in 2017[2] and won the 2018 James Tait Black Memorial Prize in the biography category.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Brown's wife is the author Frances Welch. They have two children.[1] Frances Welch's niece is Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine.[4]



  • Brown, Craig (1984). The Marsh–Marlowe letters : the correspondence of Gerald Marsh and Sir Harvey Marlowe : volume one, 1983. Heinemann.
  • 1993 – Craig Brown's Greatest Hits (Century, ISBN 0-7126-5783-5)
  • 1994 – The Hounding of John Thomas, a sequel to Lady Chatterley's Lover (Century, ISBN 0-7126-5778-9)
  • 1998 – Hug Me While I Weep for I Weep for the World, by "Bel Littlejohn" (Little, Brown, ISBN 0-316-64716-0)
  • 1998 – The Little Book of Chaos (Time Warner, ISBN 0-7515-2657-6)
  • 1999 – The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery by Kyril Bonfiglioli, completed by Craig Brown (Black Spring Press, ISBN 0-948238-24-0)
  • 2003 – This Is Craig Brown (Ebury Press, ISBN 0-09-188807-7)
  • 2004 – Craig Brown's 'Imaginary Friends': The Collected Parodies 2000–2004 (Private Eye, ISBN 1-901784-37-1)
  • 2005 – 1966 and All That (Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 0-340-89711-2)
  • 2006 – The Tony Years (Ebury Press, ISBN 978-0-09-190970-3)
  • 2010 – The Lost Diaries (Fourth Estate, ISBN 978-0-00-736060-4)
  • 2012 – One On One (Fourth Estate, ISBN 9780007360642)
  • 2017 – Ma'am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret (Fourth Estate, ISBN 978-0008203610

Book reviews[edit]

Year Review article Work(s) reviewed
2018 Brown, Craig (February 22, 2018). "Doing the New York hustle". The New York Review of Books. 65 (3): 37–39. Brown, Tina. The Vanity Fair diaries : 1983-1992. Henry Holt.


  1. ^ a b "Interview: The agreeable world of Craig Brown: Editors clamour for his". 4 January 1994.
  2. ^ Jones, Lewis (23 September 2017). "Drinking, smoking and singing off-key: Craig Brown's Ma'am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Prize for 'unconventional' royal biography". BBC News. 18 August 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  4. ^ Florence and the Machine interview: sound and vision, The Telegraph, 4 June 2009.

External links[edit]