Mr. Bingo’s ‘Hate Mail’ – Interview

We spoke with illustrator Mr. Bingo about his new project of allowing you to pay for the privilege of him sending out personalised hate mail on a post card for you.

Mr.Bingo: David, Sir!

VH: Do we call you Mr Bingo? Bingo? Bing? or Sir?

B: Mr Bingo, Bing Laden, The Beat Busketeer

VH: People may be familar with your style and some of you work. Where would you say your most known pieces have come from?

B: The work I’ve done for the television program QI is fairly widespread because the books have sold millions worldwide. I also did a page in Esquire magazine for 18 consecutive months which was a nice constant stream of stuff. The ‘Hair Portraits’ I did in 1997 have also got around a fair bit (on the internet and as actual prints). Sometimes you can get a lot of attention for doing something for a popular thing. The Mighty Boosh for example has opened me up to a whole world of crazy fans.

VH: We love the idea of your hate mail.

B: Thank you.

VH: Can you explain to us how it will work and where the idea came from?

B: How it works is very simple. A person gives me £5 and I send them a postcard with a hateful message drawn/written on it. Each one will be a random insult and the levels of hate will vary from ‘tame’ to ‘quite awful’.

The idea came from nowhere really. It just popped into my head one day. I quite often get nice little handwritten things posted to me from strangers and they make me really happy. So I thought let’s spread a bit more of that around. I also do hardly any self initiated work. 95% of the work I make is for clients so it’s nice to just do something like this for pure fun. The ‘hate’ part of it was just to give it a bit of a theme really.

It’s much more fun to send an offensive postcard to someone than a nice sweet message isn’t it? I love the fact that hundreds of these postcards will be knocking about, confusing postmen all over the country.

The extra fun element to this project is that people don’t have to send one to themselves, they can have the postcard sent to anyone they want.
So it could be a revenge attack or maybe it’s a birthday present for a friend.

VH: You’re not really that hateful are you?

B: No, I don’t have any real hate in me. I like doing funny stuff and to me, hate mail, especially if it’s random, is funny.

VH: Are you surprised with the response you’ve been getting?

B: Yeah, I suppose I am quite overwhelmed by the response. It was a real test to see if people would be willing to pay to then be insulted. It seems that they are, which is fantastic. They are of course getting a one off original signed drawing for a fiver though so it’s pretty good value in a way.

VH: If you could send real hate mail to anyone who would it be and why?

B: Martin Olley. For an explanation, go here and go to 20 minutes and 40 seconds in –

VH: Thanks.
B: Cheers!
For more of Mr. Bingo’s work and a chance to order some hate mail visit his site here – www.mr-bingo.org.uk