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New Musical Express (19 December 1981)

Museum Press

The Silver Jacket

The New Musical Express (or NME) is a long running weekly music paper published by IPC (previously Fleetway Publications, previously the Amalgamated Press). In its Christmas issue for 1981 it published a spoof Billy Bunter story by “Richard Franks”, with Billy Bunter and the Famous Five as adults at the Greyfriars discotheque and featuring various real indie/punk music stars of the time.

It seemed a bizarre piece to appear in the NME (known at the time for being left-wing in its politics, and indifferent to most forms of music other than punk and its legacy, and the thriving independent music scene in the UK at that time).

However, the illustration was a faithful parody of a blue & white Magnet cover, and the text did capture something of Frank Richards' inimitable style. Those of you who have read "Bunter Comes For Christmas" will realise why - the NME story cannibalises the first and last chapters! Click the thumbnail below to read the original story.


Billy Bunter’s Big Christmas Binge

“Richard Franks”

Spoof story

"Billy Bunter's Big Christmas Binge" © IPC 1981. Click for larger image (488k)

Museum Press

The Silver Jacket

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