Cartoonist brings 18th century satire to Hornchurch

09:30 24 March 2014

Illustration from the Gin Lane Gazette - Wildman

Illustration from the Gin Lane Gazette - Wildman


Ahead of his upcoming talk at Hornchurch Library next week, the Recorder spoke to cartoonist Adrian Teal to find out about his book The Gin Lane Gazette, the tabloid culture of 18th century Britain and life as a political satirist.

Famous caricaturists

-Matthew Pritchett, 49, has been the pocket cartoonist on The Daily Telegraph since 1988. In 2003, The Observer listed him as one of the 50 funniest people in the UK.

-Gerald Scarfe is a 77-year-old English cartoonist and illustrator. He has worked as editorial cartoonist for The Sunday Times and illustrator for The New Yorker.

-Sir David Low was a political cartoonist and caricaturist from New Zealand who went on to live and work in the United Kingdon for many years.

He earned fame for his Colonel Blimp depictions and satirising the personalities and policies of famous dictators Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin.

He died aged 72 in 1963.

The fascination with celebrity culture and scandal may seem a modern phenomenon, but according to a cartoonist turned author, it can be dated way back to the 18th century.

Last year, Adrian Teal, who has worked as a political caricaturist for national newspapers including The Sun and The Sunday Telegraph, published his first book, The Gin Lane Gazette, in which he illustrates and writes stories collected from newspapers in the Georgian 1700s.

As part of the promotion for the book, he will attend Hornchurch Library, in North Street on Thursday.

So why choose this particular topic?

Illustration from the Gin Lane Gazette - Duke of NorfIllustration from the Gin Lane Gazette - Duke of Norf

“The 18th century was a time of sex, scandal and celebrity, explained Adrian.

“It is a current trend but it was just as prevalent in the 18th centuy as today and you can draw some interesting parallels between then and now.

“It gets overlooked and loses out to the Tudors and Victorians. It was such an exciting time, a party age with fun and debauchery.”

The book, marketed as an “18th century Heat magazine”, has sold well since it’s release, and publishers are close to issuing it for reprint, according to Adrian.

Adrian TealAdrian Teal

He said: “The reaction has been fantastic. It is selling well and consistently. People who aren’t familiar with the period are delighted with what they are reading and those that are familiar are enjoying the interest. It’s gone really, really well.”

The material was sourced in part by a historian friend who collects 18th century newspapers, though Adrian explained there is no shortage of material, and he would jump at the chance to do a second volume.

“Stick a pin anywhere in the 18th century and you will get a brilliant story,” he said.

For Adrian, the transition to author was an exciting challenge after he had become disillusioned with writing satirical news caricatures for the nationals, claiming editors were “tricky to work with.”

He said: “I liked the cartooning bit, but the editors always have one eye on the sales figures. For example at the Sunday Telegraph once I had an idea for a cartoon. It was when Mark Thatcher was arrested for organising a coup. Around that time [August 2004], The Scream painting by Edvard Munch, was stolen from a museum.

“My idea was Margaret Thatcher as The Scream holding a newspaper saying ‘Mark Thatcher arrested’. The editor said he loved it but we couldn’t run it because our readers had a sentimental attachment to Margaret Thatcher.”

Adrian, of Northampton, was a keen child cartoonist and often visited the studio of Spitting Image between the ages of 10 and 16 after his father called up to tell them of his son’s hobby.

It was there he met creator John Lloyd, who he would again work with on the QI annuals, which he illustrated between 2008-2011.

But for now he is concentrating on the 18th century, and his new found interest of writing the stories to go alongside his images.

He explained: “I actually enjoyed the writing more in this endeavour, and I am enjoying talking about the great stories from the period.”

To listen to Adrian talking about his book and his work as a cartoonist, go along to the Gin Lane Gazette Talk on Thursday. Tickets £5.


Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 17:33
Residents from Orchard Village warn against plans for 750 homes in New Road, Rainham

People angered by a host of problems on their estate have staged a protest about the housing association as it presented new plans for 750 homes.

Yesterday, 12:54
Police were called after reports of an incident at the Thomson travel agency in Upminster this morning

Police are attending an incident at a travel agents with reports that the building has been cordoned off.

Yesterday, 10:00
Beaux Beatz members Jasmine Hood, Charlie Dillon, Charlee-Lou Borthwick, Tyresse Aaron Ryan and Macey Broom

Hoping to make the big time, young members of a pop group are showing they have the x factor by making it through to the live shows of a singing competition.

Yesterday, 07:00
Mother and daughter Sandra Goldsmith and Vikki Powell who are fundraising after both having being diagnosed with breat cancer

A mum had the devastating shock of being told she had breast cancer just a day before her daughter’s final day of treatment in her own battle with the disease.

Thu, 15:06
Canine partners, train dogs to help disabled people manage their day to day lives, take clothes out of washing machine, cards into/out ATMs etc.
The service is hoping to branch out into Havering but needs people to train the dogs.
Glynis Wotheboys, Andrew Skingley, and Emily Lawrence, with Garon the dog

A charity which hopes to attract dog lovers to train puppies to assist people with physical disabilities is holding an information day on Saturday.

Thu, 13:47
The girls on a saturday night out. Picture Mark Sepple.

Had enough of the Brexit debate, gorillas and 2016 in general?

Thu, 12:10
Rubbish left at Orchard Village, Rainham

Businesses have called for a cross-borough team to rid the area of illegal traveller encampments and tackle “criminally organised” fly-tipping.

Thu, 09:51
Ronan Moore, 2, and Riley Chambers-Cooke, 3, in the lift with Ian McCarthy, crew manager from Dagenham. Picture: Vickie Flores.

Families got the chance to take a closer look at the life of a firefighter as Romford fire station opened its doors as part of London Fire Brigade’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now