MEDIA: FHM BIONIC - An Expert's View. Mark Wnek believes the latest 'active men's title', FHM Bionic, is for the downwardly inclined

Like many working-class immigrants of my generation, I've spent my

life trying to better myself. With uneven results: got the degree from

Cambridge, not got rid of the foul mouth when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink,

the Chelsea striker, refuses to make runs to give our midfield a

target.



Today - and it's about time some planning department did a paper about

it - there are literally millions of chaps going the other way. Nice

middle-class boys determined to be working class.



This downwardly inclined person, or dippy, aims for one thing: to be

(seen as) working class, usually as embodied by a cross between Roy

Keane and David Beckham.



Despite their cosy middle-class upbringing, these boys brandish gangland

accents and phrases, sport shaven heads, drink bottled lager, are

absolutely appalling about women and, even though they've never been

near a ship, army barracks or prison, rather hilariously wear

tattoos.



More and more of them are joining gyms, mostly in an attempt to develop

what England's best personal trainer, Mark Jarvis, calls "show

muscles".



Now the dippy has his own magazine, FHM Bionic, "the new monthly

magazine for active men".



Inside there's all the information a dippy will ever need: six-pack

routines, pictures of girls in bikinis, muscle-toning routines, pictures

of girls' arses, muscle-building routines, shagging routines, getting

the most in your 4x4, and, in the piece titled Red Alert (which I think

best sums up this magazine's positioning), invaluable advice on

"menstrual mastery", like what to do if "she's a moody cow".



To be fair, I'm not the best person to review this magazine. I've spent

my life trying to lose my Cockney accent. I revere and respect women

and, if I do more or less live in weight rooms these days, it's because

it keeps me nice, off the streets and out of trouble.



When I do take one of these "active men's " titles, it's the excellent

Francis Cottam's Men's Fitness, a magazine which believes that gyms are

places for getting massive and planning your next bank job and not

poncing about with a baseball cap on backwards.



But FHM Bionic does what it does brilliantly well and Phil Hilton, the

editor-in-chief, looks in good nick and writes a very funny leader.



Judging by the crossfire of Lynx body spray and the limbs festooned with

Chinese symbols down the gym these days, you've got a vast body of avid

readers, Phil. (By the way, I should warn all you boys who think your

mysterious and cool symbol says "dragon fire" or "lion claw", that it

actually says "total twat".)



Publisher Emap Elan

Frequency Monthly

Price £3

Initial print run 80,000

Full-page colour ad rate £6,400

Advertisers include Volkswagen, Sony, Tommy Hilfiger, Puma, Adidas,

Seiko



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