From 1969-1993 Bert illustrated a column in the magazine
Private Eye known as “True Stories” written by Christopher Logue.
Below is a selection of the stories with the illustrations

Issue 723
1 September 1989

A representative of the Political Office has asked the headmaster of Claybourne Hill School if he would return the video in which, as part of the New South Wales Department of Eduction’s Awareness Programme, the Minister of Education, Dr Metherell, the Minister for the Environment, Mr Moore, and the Minister for Natural Resourses, Mr Causley, are to be seen imitating vegetables while singing Yippee – I’m a Sprout.

Issue 722
18 August 1989

During her interview, Miss Carrie Rowat of Sarnia, Canada, said: “I am a stripper and my stage name is Nadia tha Beastmaster.I perform with my pig, Charlie. We come on covered in grease and then I invite any member of the audience who feels up to it to come up onstage and stop Charlie from wrestling me to the floor.
“Last night a Mr Copple and another man who declined to give his name, both claiming to be inspectors from the Canadian Humane Society, jumped up and tried to remove Charlie on grounds of cruelty. Charlie ran into the wings and I took refuge among the audience.
“My fans threw them out. If they had bothered to talk to me I could have told them that Charlie gets better treatment as a performer than he would on a farm. I know, because I grew up on a farm.

Issue 715
12 May 1989

Indonesian bird-trainers have protested to Mr Lon Ton, Chairman of the Mynah Bird Speech Contest Committee, that although Burmese, Dutch and English speaking birds are allowed to compete, those speaking Bahasa, the official tongue will be given double marks.

Issue 706
6 January 1989

Snr Dante Ochisi, a lion-tamer from Bari, has been deported from Jask in the Trucial States after one of his troupe abandoned its normal set of tricks and mounted a lioness in the presence of 500 children.
“We try to prevent this sort of thing,” said Snr Eric Parima, themanager of Parima’s Circus, “but once it has started it is most inadvisable to interrupt. We have replaced the lions with an all-male clown act for the remainder of the tour

Issue 699
30 September 1988

During his interview, Mr Attar Singh, New Delhi’s chief mischievous monkey catcher, said : “ I spent some years in the United Kingdom and I would not like to be confused with ratcatchers. I am paid £3.50. per monkey caught. I love monkeys. Every time I see a monkey I think : ‘There goes £3.50”. With rats you simply gas or poison them. This is not the case with monkeys.
“I know how to sing a duet with certain monkeys. I am pestered by young women who want to marry me. Monkeys are the most intelligent of all animals. One monkey, who lived in the Para District, got to know me by sight. It was not until I disguised myself as a woman that I was able to catch him.”

Issue 688
29 April 1988

“My mother and father were both patriots,” said Mrs Shasta Flanginsky of Silvertown, California. “My father wore Stars-and Stripes contact lenses,until the day he died, and mother always portrays the Statue of Liberty, draped, crowned and carrying a torch, as she tours Silvertown in her electric wheelchair on national holidays. So you can imagine what a shock it was to her when, last Thanksgiving Day, she was arrested by two FBI men for being an illegal alien. We explained that she had been living here since 1916 and that her 22 grand- children are all citizens. However, she had forgotten to sign something in those days, so they charged her $185 to prove she wasn’t bringing in any diseases and she had an Aids test- at 92.”

Issue 683
19 February 1988

Speaking from the stage of Johannesburg’s Alexandra Theatre, Mr Hannibal Wynne, the director of the house’s current production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, announced that as the police had arrested Mr Dan Sebegodi and Miss Lulu Tesheola, two of the show’s dwarfs, for possessing a copy of The Life of Steve Biko, he and his stage manager, Harry Beach, would “have to play Bashful and Happy, although both of us are over six feet tall”.

Issue 656
6 February 1987

Speaking from the steps of his rectory, the reverend William Prudoe said:”After a series of meetings, the four parish councils responsible for the upkeep of our local cemetery -Ovington, Ovingham, Ovingcross and Ovinghoe – hit upon the idea of buying four goats to keep the cemetery’s grass short by their grazing.
“However the local opposition has forced us to abandon this scheme on the grounds that the goats would attract the devil to hallowed ground.”

Issue 620
20 September 1985

Mr Ernst Albrecht, the President of Lower Saxony, has begun a campaign to have Louise, the sniffer-Pig , reinstated as part of the Hanoverian drug squad.
“I am reliably informed,” the President said, “that Louise is a fine performer. It is not the job of the drug squad to avoid ridicule but to halt the menace. Louise is an important public service pig. As a government employee she is hired for life.”
Supporting Mr Albrecht’s campaign, Miss Ilse Tropp said: “Pigs are more intelligent and bulkier than Alsations. We would like to see a Special Pig Formation used for crowd control. At $36 per pig a month they are cheaper than dogs, and they do not have any unforunate associations with Germany’ recent past.

Issue 599
30 November 1984

During his interview Mr Bobby Topper admitted that he and his family had moved from the Midlands to Somerset because his neighbour, Mrs Sandra Pip, insisted on exposing her breasts to him.
“On one occasion, when I was mowing the lawn, Mrs Pip – a very well built lady – hung them over the garden fence. But the incident that made me move to a secret address involved her leaning out of a top floor window, stripped to the waist, and shouting : “Big ones ! Big ones !”

Issue 555
25 March 1983

As a result of three Fenlanders being struck by metal lids, the Cambridgeshire police have warned people to be on the lookout for exploding treacle tins.

Issue 522
18 December 1981

Mr Christopher Neild of the Trent Polytechnic is nourishing a snail that returned to life after spending three years as part of an ornament on a dressing-table.
“It is eating cabbage and sprouts,” he said, “and will in due time be returned to the sands of Skegness where it was first found.”

Issue 343
7 February 1975

Miss Vlaudine Tousel of Alencon told a local court that her new Boyfriend, Ermis, was responsible for stealing the £250 from a bank where she once worked.
“I know men like women with big ones,” she said, so I filled up my brassiere with notes. Ermis was fondling me behind the Bank when he suddenly remembered an important engagement. I never saw him again.”
Asked how long she had known ‘Ermis’ she said : “About fifteen minutes ”.

She was fined £10.

Issue 342
24 January 1975

A screening 0f The Exorcist in La Pampa, one of Rio de Janiero’s most popular cinemas, was interupted during the vomit-shot by a large brown rat scampering back-and-forth across the stage.
This intrusion entirely distracted the audience’s attention from the religious incident, and when Miss Yama Gomez, an usherette appeared on the stage with a mop, the front four rows began to shout: “Take them off! Take them off ! “ as the pair ran in and out of the beam.
After stunning the rat with a mop-blow, Miss Gomez proceeded to take off all her clothes and dance naked in the light of the film.

Issue 335
18 October 1974

Alarmed by a series of high-pitched sceams from the house next door, Mrs Beryl Cheame dialed 999.
Arriving at the house in question “within less than half a minute”, the Chelmsford police found Wilfred, a hedgehog, with his head caught in a tin of baked beans.

Issue 309
19 October 1973

A leopard is being hunted by the Cameroon Army. “I have inspected the bloody footprints”, said Mr M.A. Maimo, Chief of the Provincial Forests, “and I am convinced it is the same leopard that ate a fat goat belonging to the Procurer General of the North West Province, and three other goats belonging to the North Western Delegate for National Security.
“I have issued a leaflet which is to be distributed among the people of North Western Province telling them that a Leopard is a large, flesh eating animal with a yellow coat and dark spots.

Issue 293
9 March 1973

Five weeks after he cut his foot while paddling by the shore of Lake Moondarra, Australia, Mr David Palmer, a Brisbane fishmonger, developed a very large blister over the hurt place. The surgeon who lanced the blister found that it contained a live, half-inch-long fish.

Issue 287
15 December 1972

After making love to his friend’s wife, Mr.Johann Heer of Vienna took a felt-tipped pen and drew a romantic landscape on her bum. Less harm would have come of this creation if Mr Heer had not signed his work.
“I am a regular Sunday painter”, said Mr Heer, “and after we had enjoyed ourselves, Frau Garubul wanted to watch Gone with the Wind on television.
“ Love stories do not interest me”, he continued,”so I took up my pen. I did not ask her permission as she likes being tickled. Later I went to sleep. She was gone when I woke up”.
Returning home, Frau Garubul got into bed before her husband, Franz, finished his stint as a taximan.
“As my wife was asleep when I got in, I thought I would give her a goodnight kiss. It was then I saw the landscape – signed with Johann’s name. It was his signature,” Franz went on, “and to prove it, I woke my wife up and we compared it to another signature on a painting he gave us that hangs in the dining room.”

He was granted a divorce.

Issue 274
16 June 1972

Twelve years ago I went bald; now I have a two inch growth of silver curls sprouting all over my head, “said Mr. Harry Biggs, who is 70, of Peterborough. Mr Biggs, who is 70, attributes the revival to his interest in market gardening.
“For some time I have been in the habit of rubbing my hands over my head after potting my plants in mushroom manure. Six months ago I started this new mulch. Ihave not rubbed on anything else. My hair is now two inches long and still growing.

Issue 265
11 February 1972

Five eminent statistitions have calculated the collective measurement of the models who have illustrated the pages of Playboy magazine since its inception eighteen years ago as: one supertart weighing 17 tons, with a chest measurement of half a mile.

Issue 246
21 May 1971

The Journal of the American Library Association has announced the publication of Playboy Magazine in a Braille edition.

Issue 221
5 June 1970

From a letter to the Calgary Herald: “As a woman who is married to a transvestite, I thank you ffor pointing out that men who enjoy dressing up in women’s clothes are not necessarily homosexual.
My Bob is all man. He stands six foot two inches tall and weighs 190 pounds. After the children are asleep he puts on high heels, false eyelashes and a wig before slipping into a negligee. I call him Bobette and we both look forward to these wonderful moments in our life.

Issue 195
6 June 1969

“It wasn’t a serious fight,” said Mr Hyland, Landlord of the Half Moon and former middleweight boxing champion.
“Alec put the lock on this chap who reached up and tore off his ear. I picked it up, handed it to Alec and told him to get it sewn back on, but he just laughed and threw it back on the floor.

Issue 189
14 March 1969

For some years now the Japanese Railways have employed a force of pushers i.e. a team of judo and karate experts who push ticketholders into already crowded trains thereby making the trip more profitable.