The magazine has made its name on its covers – the funnier they are, the more they sell, said retailers – and the 1,500th issue is the perfect way to highlight the impact they have had. 

Readers have been whittling down covers on the website, with the 1,500th issue featuring the finalists for readers to vote on due on 10 July. 

The magazine is also preparing a major quiz to run in the magazine.

Popular entries include recent covers such as the current issue’s ‘Tory Leadership Drug Scandal’, which included a mild expletive to describe Boris Johnson, and the previous issue commemorating Theresa May’s achievements and legacy as prime minister – a largely blank image. 

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Private Eye journalist Adam Macqueen told betterRetailing: “We always get a good reaction to this kind of thing. Hopefully, the celebrations will also help entice some lapsed readers, as they do tend to come and go. 

“They come for the jokes initially, then end up reading about miscarriages of justice. Sometimes, there’s so much news, people have to take a break.”

He added that Private Eye is enjoying a purple patch. “The magazine is doing fantastically well. Stories we’ve been banging on about for years and years, such as the contaminated blood scandal we first wrote about in 1987, are now on the national news agenda.

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“A fairly dreadful time for the country is great for a satirical magazine. News events are a gift for us, but maybe not for the rest of the country, or the world.”

Nainesh Shah, of Mayhew News, Belgravia, said: “It’s a very good seller for us. Private Eye is always good for a laugh, and it’s great entertainment in the climate we’re in. A good front cover can really help sales.”