In 1960 he became one of the founders of Hara-Kiri, a satirical magazine which, after it was banned by president Charles de Gaulle in 1970, simply changed its name to Charlie Hebdo and appeared with the same cover the following week.
In 1969, the Hara-Kiri team decided to produce a weekly publication – on top of the existing monthly magazine – which would focus more on current affairs. This was launched in February as Hara-Kiri Hebdo and renamed L’Hebdo Hara-Kiri in May of the same year. (‘Hebdo’ is short for ‘hebdomadaire’ – ‘weekly’)
In November 1970, the former French president Charles de Gaulle died in his home village of Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, eight days after a disaster in a nightclub, the Club Cinq-Sept fire caused the death of 146 people. The magazine released a cover spoofing the popular press’s coverage of this disaster, headlined “Tragic Ball at Colombey, one dead.” As a result, the journal was once more banned, this time by the Minister of the Interior.
In order to sidestep the ban, the team decided to change its title, and used Charlie Hebdo.
Seriously, not even checking Wikipedia these days? Tom will be spinning in that grave that holds the stalwart of the Telegraph’s subs bench of old and The Great Redacto, sometime reader here and Telegraph colleague on that bench will be shouting about it for us too no doubt.