|Publisher||Paul Raymond Publications|
|Company||Blue Active Media Ltd|
Razzle is a British softcore pornographic magazine, founded in 1983, published by Paul Raymond Publications. It currently focuses on the girl-next-door style pornography, offering cash for any photos of "readers' wives" printed; in the past, however, several notable glamour models were featured, including minor celebrity Joanne Guest. It also includes the traditional "true" stories.
There was an earlier UK men's magazine of the same title that dates from the 1930s to the late 1950s. This was a pocket format title, which featured a colour centre spread by the illustrator George Davies.
Despite the market for softcore pornography decreasing in the UK, presumably due to a combination of the internet, and more extreme material being available, Razzle is still successful, having launched some spin off titles including Razzle Extreme, The Best of Razzle, Razzle Readers Wives and Razzle DVD. Razzle does however offer hardcore imagery and videos of the photosets found in its magazines online, on the official Paul Raymond website.
Razzle is published by the late Paul Raymond's publishing house, whose other publications include Club International, Escort, Mayfair, Men Only and Men's World. All of the Paul Raymond magazines are widely available in newsagents, although some larger retailers require a modesty bag in order to protect minors from seeing partial nudity on display on the cover. From 2013, the magazines were also available for a few years in digital format on the Paul Raymond digital newsstand.
Nicholas Whittaker, journalist and author of Platform Souls, Blue Period and Sweet Talk, worked for the company from 1982 to 1987, and played a major role in establishing the new Razzle magazine. In its first format Razzle was 48 pages and sold for 50p. He wrote of his experiences and the formation of the new magazine in Blue Period.
In popular culture
The earlier men's magazine (1930s–1950s) was later immortalised in the Ian Dury song Razzle In My Pocket (1977, the 'B' side to Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll), a story of a boy trying to steal a copy of said magazine from a bookshop. The song also appears on the 1981 compilation LP Juke Box Dury (side 1, track 6). Razzle is also mentioned in David Lodge’s 1970 novel Out of the Shelter. In the book, the magazine is passed from hand to hand at the protagonists's school, and its readers are annoyed that the parts they are most interested in are covered up.
The Paul Raymond magazine (1983–) has gained a fair bit of mainstream attention, the name Razzle having been mentioned on numerous British comedy programmes, including Meet Ricky Gervais, Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere, and in an episode of Absolutely Fabulous where it is implied that Patsy once posed for the magazine (albeit in the early 1970s). It is also mentioned in Men Behaving Badly and Bottom, and in Little Britain, when Lou buys the magazine for Andy. The razzle stack is the way ladies were stacked four high, normally with a pint of Guinness rested to the side.
- Lisa Z. Sigel, "International exposure: perspectives on modern European pornography, 1800-2000", Rutgers University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-8135-3519-0