Now is a disappointment for good-news and gossip fans, Eleanor Trickett
Now is pitching itself as a classy, celebrity-focused magazine for
ABC1C2 women. My favourite category. Unfortunately, I got off to a bad
start with it.
I have to want to read Now on my interminable daily tube journey, but it
doesn’t look sexy enough to be worthy. The cover is unattractive, using
‘old man’ colours: red, white and blue. The contents page, even uglier
than the cover, is a missed opportunity in slaggings-off. Cliff Richard,
for example, looks like a wino in an 80s suit and they simply mention
his new show.
Having read it cover to cover, I feel as if I’ve been through the mill.
I’ve sat through five ‘real people’ stories, including male anorexia and
rape, nine celebrity stories, seven of which outline personal tragedies
and career failure, and an ‘interview’ with Robson Green - roughly three
quotes stretching to a full-page piece.
Where are the good-news stories? The malicious gossip? If you’re going
to make a magazine look trashy, you may as well make sure the content
fits the image. Now fawns over predictable figures - Di, Goldie Hawn,
Oprah - as well as slightly more unusual ones, such as Princess Anne. It
looks like something that would fall out of a Sunday tabloid. Indeed,
the features are of a gravity normally reserved for the single ‘serious
spot’ in such a medium.
Celebrity-driven mags are definitely sexy. But whereas Here!, Now’s most
obvious rival, has scoops and slander delivered in lime green and sky
blue pink, Now simply regurgitates things we already know. Not even a
‘who’s who’, but a ‘who cares?’. Not a candidate for the Piccadilly
line, I’m afraid.
Eleanor Trickett, connoisseur of fine gossip, is Campaign’s editorial