Media: Double Standards - The desire for celebrity news could save us all

Michael Butcher and Abigail Blackburn on stylish escapism, sexy exclusives and Jordan's love life - it's all in a day's work on a celebrity magazine.


- How has the recession affected celebrity magazines?

The recession has been tough on all businesses, not just magazines. The key to staying ahead of the game is to listen to your readers and develop your magazine so that it not only entertains, but also inspires ... just as we've done with Reveal. NatMag continues to invest heavily in Reveal, ensuring these messages are out there. Our sales figures for this period are completely bucking the market trend - we're obviously doing things right.

- Is the market too saturated?

It is true to say the celebrity weekly market is packed, but there seems to be room for all of us. Reveal's sales and readership are growing strongly due to our unique proposition.

- Who is your all-time favourite cover star?

I don't really have a favourite - but one day, I'd love to put Dolly Parton on the cover!

- Which celebrities are guaranteed to sell the most copies?

It's a changing cast list. The fortunes of celebrities as cover stars waxes and wanes with great frequency. One minute they're bestsellers, the next, they're box-office poison. It all depends on how their public persona is perceived by the readership at any given time.

- What's been your best exclusive so far this year?

There have been three that stand out for me. I loved the set of pictures we got of Kerry Katona's nip/tuck disaster. I was particularly thrilled with a set of pictures we had of Coleen Rooney with horrendous crow's feet - aged just 22! Most recently, I was proud of our scoop on the fact that Jordan was having secret meetings with one of her exes.

- Why should advertisers invest in your magazine?

Because our readers trust us and we're one of only a handful of magazines currently in growth. They follow our advice, appreciate the fact that our stories are true and love our distinctive and refreshing voice as the celebrity magazine written by celebrities. Reveal stands out in a sector that has become quite repetitive, has a growing circulation of more than 270,000, and continues to be the magazine for a new generation of 16- to 34-year-old women.

- How have you shaped your magazine to deal with the downturn?

In times like these, we all need something in our lives to inspire us. Celebrity and celebrity experts inspire and motivate young women and we've discovered that Britain's fascination with celebrities' lives has now developed into an increased interest in their lifestyles. So we've introduced celebrity writers (Team Reveal) into the mix who can offer our readers inspiration and advice.

- Which celebrities are the most difficult to deal with?

If some celebrities are a nightmare, it's often not the celebrities themselves who are difficult - it's the people around them. But, having said that, there are a fair few reality TV contestants who I would run a mile from!