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New British magazine never will trust anyone under 50

The Oldie, a new magazine that promises to be a flagship for old reactionaries, began publishing Wednesday to challenge the cult of youth that dominates the British media.

Publisher Richard Ingrams, 54, a roguish iconoclast who increasingly has become despairing of popular culture, says his magazine started as a joke.

"But as soon as I announced it, I found that everyone was taking it seriously. Before I knew what was happening I found I was leading a crusade," he said in the first edition.

Under columns headed "Oldie Pin-ups," "Still With Us" and "Voice from the Grave," the Oldie hums with scorn for youthful values and rings with anthems for those of the over-50s.

As a young man 30 years ago, Ingrams founded the successful satirical magazine Private Eye.

His new magazine aims to hit the fast-growing market of affluent over-50s with a mixture of social comment, reviews and investigation.

Condemning what he called the media's "undue emphasis on peripheral matters like pop music, health, sex and money-making," Ingrams attracted some big-name contributors.

Romantic fiction writer Barbara Cartland, 90, railed against the devaluation of the occupation "housewife," saying it was essential to "upgrade the importance of the home and make the role of mother and wife a career."

Social novelist Jilly Cooper, 50, offered a selection of her pin-ups, headed by the Duke of Beaufort, 63. "I like the way he feeds the most wonderful food to his springer spaniels during dinner parties," Cooper cooed.

Auberon Waugh, 52, a prolific journalist and son of the novelist Evelyn Waugh, said in his column called "Rage" that he was setting up an Oldies Association "designed to be something between a trade union and a pressure group for the over-50s."

The magazine has its detractors.

Paul Johnson, 62, a noted right-wing commentator, dismissed the new magazine as "an organ of geriatric triumphalism written by people old enough to know better."