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In October 2001, fans of “the internet” first saw some scanned pages from the Framley Examiner. Stories such as “Cycle Lane Not Evan As Long As Small Cycle” and “Scouts cheque crushed scouts” set the tone for the densest, funniest newspaper spoof since The Onion, skewering the British national character through the lens of local news, letters, ads and the soon-to-be legendary classified pages (“Stairs for sale. Unwanted gift. Used once. Owner upstairs now and not coming down. £200. Must collect.”)
Framley’s initially anonymous creators had built a whole rich, strange world, stuffed with its own cast, its own insane geography and rich local history. The website was loved and shared by an eager public, as well as becoming a favourite of the creators of the League of Gentlemen, Little Britain, The Simpsons, Look Around You and Father Ted.
A book compiling around 120 of the newspaper’s pages, and a guide to the history of the town were published by Penguin in 2002 and 2003. Long out of print, they now change hands for ludicrous sums. But those books never contained all of the Framley Examiner. While the website never reproduiced all of the pages from the book, over 60 pages from the website never made it into print. Framley was never complete.
But this book, published to mark the 20th anniversary of The Framley Examiner, aims to right that historic wrong, by compiling almost all of the Framley Examiner newspaper pages into one place in a luxury toilet-proof full colour hardback book.
Robin Halstead, Jason Hazeley, Alex Morris & Joel Morris would, between them, later go on to write the best-selling Bollocks To Alton Towers books, write for potty-mouthed national treasure Viz, create TV idiot Philomena Cunk, co-write the BAFTA winning Charlie Brooker’s Wipe shows and the Paddington films and create the industry-smashing Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups. They met at school and divide their time between London and the pub.
These people are helping to fund The Incomplete Framley Examiner.