Journalist, satirist and broadcaster Ian Hislop began his glittering career at the posh private school Ardlingly College where he wrote and starred in revues. While at Oxford University he started a magazine called Passing Wind and upon graduation in 1981 joined the staff of Private Eye, becoming editor in 1986, and gaining a reputation for being sued for libel by the subjects of the magazine's exposés (and usually, losing). He has also written a number of satirical TV and radio series with long-standing collaborator Nick Newman, including scripts for Spitting Image.
He has appeared on every episode of HIGNFY since it started, and has since branched out into other broadcasting work. He has carved out a niche as a writer/presenter of documentaries on social history, with programmes ranging across subjects such as Victorian philanthropy, the history of the boy scouts, the selection process for poets laureate, and the concept of the "stiff upper lip". His 2005 Channel 4 series Not Forgotten (about the impact on society of the First World War) was nominated for a BAFTA, and his 2008 programme Ian Hislop Goes off The Rails (about the Beeching Axe) still holds the record for the highest-rated documentary on BBC Four.
Private Eye proprietor Peter Cook on Hislop: "Ian is our concession to youth, he being all of fifteen [he was 31 at the time] . And I believe he's a woman as well, so that helps."