Helena Hudson is certain Hello! has nothing to fear from the latest
The first edition of OK! Weekly arrived recently and, being a sucker for
celebrity gossip, I sat down for a good read. The cover promised a world
exclusive from the gorgeous Joan Collins, talking about her courtroom
hell. In the interview she tells us how her reputation as an author has
been thoroughly trashed. It finishes with an offer to get a free copy of
her novel that I probably won’t take up.
Other interviewees include Bob Hoskins, James Hewitt’s ex-lover, Mike
Reid (who used to be in EastEnders), Geoffrey Durham (Victoria Wood’s
husband), Lyndsey de Paul (their regular cartoonist) and lastly,
Janus is the successful star of the musical, Grease. Maybe that’s why
she decided to pose naked in the shower. Or maybe it’s because she’s
developing her portfolio for use in other Northern and Shell titles. Who
knows? The rest of the magazine is topped up with gossip titbits and
celebrity round-ups. Even George Burns has managed to contribute from
beyond the grave and David Hasselhoff’s mum has donated photos from the
family album. It even comes with a pocket-sized TV listings guide.
OK! Weekly has more in common with Woman’s Own (with the exception of
the cover price) than its assumed rival, Hello!. If it achieves half the
circulation of Woman’s Own, it should be a success (but according to
wholesalers’ figures it’s selling around 120,000).
Most of the articles are about UK celebrities and soap stars with ‘real-
life’ stories to tell. It is more down to earth than the fantasy world
of Hello!. I’m sure there is room for OK! Weekly in the women’s weeklies
market but I don’t think Hello! will lose any beauty sleep over it.
Helena Hudson is a media account director at Optimedia