Journalist Richard Smith, the man behind ‘gay Private Eye’ Fagburn blog, dies

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A notoriously sharp-tongued gay journalist and writer has passed away.

Richard Smith, best known for his LGBT media blog, Fagburn, has died in his hometown of Brighton.

He was 49 years old.

Smith had a career in gay media spanning more than two decades, developing something of a cult following for his quick wit and stark online put-downs.

He previously worked as Associate Editor of the UK’s longest-running gay publication, Gay Times magazine.

Smith went on to write for a string of high-profile publications, including the Guardian, as well as writing and editing several books.

Richard Smith, AKA Fagburn

The exact details of the death are yet to be confirmed, but a friend has told PinkNews it was following a long illness.

Smith, who was a self-proclaimed Communist, also had a successful career as a DJ, working clubs and bars around Brighton up until the mid-naughties.

Richard Smith, AKA Fagburn

His most recent, and most prolific project, was as the author of, where he would regularly and sometimes brutally critique LGBT news coverage, including on PinkNews.

Fagburn was nominated for Publication of the Year at the 2013 Stonewall Awards.

Journalist Richard Smith, the man behind ‘gay Private Eye’ Fagburn blog, dies

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Describing his blog, Smith wrote: “Now widely acknowledged as Britain’s leading homosexual libertarian communist absurdist thinker, Fagburn is for a ruthless gay criticism of everything existing.

“He has been banging his head against a brick wall since April 2010, and is spokesbot for the totally made-up Gay Media Watch.”

PinkNews understands that the Fagburn blog and domain have been covered until 2024, and so his back catalogue of work will remain online for many years to come.

His ‘pet’ names for PinkNews journalists included Benjamin Butterskips and Joseph McGormeless.