E. J. Thribb

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E. J. Thribb (17½) has been the fictitious poet-in-residence at the satirical magazine Private Eye since 1972; the poems are in reality written by Barry Fantoni. Thribb's poems are usually about recently deceased famous people, and titled 'In Memoriam', with the first line almost invariably reading: "So. Farewell then...". He is an obituarist, a threnodist.[1]

Thribb usually mentions the deceased's catchphrase or theme song, and his poems often feature his friend Keith, or Keith's mum, who is usually "like" the deceased in some way.

Thribb's 'poetry' is characterised by deadpan delivery and a stream of consciousness which is broken up into short lines seemingly at random, and has very little rhyme, rhythm or reason.

Thribb always signs his poems with his age – 17½ – although sometimes this will be modified to refer to another thing for which the deceased is famous. He sometimes signs himself E Jarvis Thribb.

In the first issue after the death of Peter Cook, comedian and longtime proprietor and financial supporter of Private Eye, the magazine's cover consisted simply of a photograph of Cook beneath, in large print, the phrase 'So. Farewell then...'

Original writer Barry Fantoni left the position in December 2010, to retire and live in France. It is unknown who now writes the poems.


  1. ^ A Review of 2015, at 6 minutes
  • Peter Cook: At a Slight Angle to the Universe (BBC Documentary)
  • Conlan, Tara (21 December 2010). "Private Eye writer and cartoonist Barry Fantoni bids farewell, now". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 February 2012.

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