To shell out 20p for the Times on Saturday is a bargain for the
bulk of print that lands on your breakfast table. At the weekend a mound
of reading matter can be daunting, which is why I tend to delve into the
printed folds for a manageable magazine.
This time a glossy A4 title slithered out, which looked stylish and
inviting and didn’t fall victim to skim reading.
I thought the magazine would take just 20 minutes to read, skipping over
the usual travel articles on places I couldn’t afford, to find the odd
page of fashion and a few brief features. But I found myself reading the
magazine cover to cover, gasping at the extraordinary marriage between
Robin Cook and his wife, lapping up the bizarre trial of the twin who
tried to murder her sister and admiring Donatella Versace’s efforts
since her brother’s death.
The interview between Terence Conran and Marco Pierre White was
compulsive reading, my only disappointment being that they didn’t argue.
It’s a novel idea to get Boy George to review the season’s best hats,
although he’s the last person I would seek fashion advice from.
The magazine itself is worth the 20p, but is this the honeymoon period
for a magazine anxious to make a sparkling first impression? It’s packed
full of articles - the ratio of 68 pages of editorial to around 30 pages
of advertising is significantly lower than the previous week’s split. As
a punter I like the weighty editorial, but the magazine must have cost
News International a few million and, along with the price cut, must be
forcing the company to shave a pretty penny from its operating profits.
How long can it keep this up?