The King Of Toilet Humour Turns 30 / Sky News feature

The nation’s crudest and arguably funniest comic – thanks to the likes of Sid The Sexist, Billy the Fish and the Fat Slags – is celebrating its 30th birthday.

Jo Couzens, Sky News Online reports. Read the full article here

Viz began life in the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne bedroom of 19-year-old Chris Donald in 1979, with help from his brother Simon and friend Jim Brownlow.

Copies of the first 12-page issue went on sale in a local pub for 20p – or 30p to students.

Within hours, the run of 150 hand-drawn and hand-stapled copies had sold out and a comedy institution was born.

The new foul-mouthed rag spread by word of mouth and by 1984, everyone in Newcastle aged 14 to 21 had heard of it. It was so littered with toilet humour that when Donald finally showed the comic to his mother, he had to cover most of it in Tippex to save her blushes.

“His parents were lovely, I’m sure they must have been shocked when their son became famous for this rather salacious publication,” said Peter Brent, an old friend of the Donald brothers.
“He obviously had a great talent even in those days,” he went on.
“If you went in Chris’s bedroom, you couldn’t see anything for the paper. It was everywhere, on the floor, the furniture, the bed, absolutely everywhere.”

The comic hit the mainstream when it was discovered by John Brown, then of Virgin Publishing, who grabbed onto its coat-tails, taking the comic with him when he set up his own publishing firm in 1985.

Viz went on to become Britain’s third most popular magazine in the early 90s, with sales peaking at over 1.2 million.

As it reaches the ripe old age of 30, the adult comic has a brand reach of 620,000 people and a longstanding readership of nearly 400,000 with its current publisher Dennis Publishing.

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