Intelligence service secretly funded Flamingo magazine to fight communist threat

Even by the demanding standards of the 1960s, Flamingo was considered a groundbreaking magazine. Mixing glamour, sex advice, culture and international politics, it was one of the first magazines to target Britain’s African-Caribbean community.

It ran from September 1961 until May 1965 and at its peak sold up to 20,000 copies in the UK and 15,000 in the US. It was also distributed in the Caribbean and West Africa, and published dedicated editions in Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia. It carried interviews with Malcolm X and advertisements for Island Records, which brought Jamaican ska music to Britain.

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Read More Sex, ska and Malcolm X: MI6’s covert 1960s mission to woo West Indians

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