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
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
More and more of them are joining gyms, mostly in an attempt to develop
what England's best personal trainer, Mark Jarvis, calls "show
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
Initial print run 80,000
Full-page colour ad rate £6,400
Advertisers include Volkswagen, Sony, Tommy Hilfiger, Puma, Adidas,