Magazine launches & events 1975-1989

Magazines listed by cover date with most recent at top. Also with alphabetic links to magazines on the right. Launches in other years.
Writers News debut issue cover
Writers News saw potential in Europe and the booming area of wordprocessing

Writers News

October 1989. David & Charles Publishing. 40 pp.
Ed: Richard Bell
The advent of cheap wordprocessing on computers such as the BBC Micro and the Amstrad PCW encouraged writers.

Time Out 20/20 cover
Fourth issue of the Time Out spin-off 20/20 with Batman on the cover


April 1989. Time Out. £1.50; 180 pp. Ed: Don Atyeo
National critical guide to arts events, mainly in the shape of film and music. Marlon Brando was on the cover of the launch issue (he'd just pulled out of Donald Cammell's Performance) and there were pieces on Peter Greenaway, Pet Shop Boys, Alan Parker and John Waters. Each issue carried a column by Julie Burchill, who reviewed films before she'd seen them. Batman was on the cover of the fourth issue of this short-lived spin-off from Time Out (Sell-Out was another).

Description of the editor: 'Don Atyeo was a blunt Australian of scabrous good humour who could out-Kelvin MacKenzie' by later Time Out editor Dominic Wells in the British Journalism Review (2006, issue 3).
Time Out profile

Opera Now launch issue cover
Opera Now put Dennis O'Neill on the cover as Don Carlo from Verdi's grand work

Opera Now

April 1989. Opera Now Enterprises. £2; 108 pp. Ed: Mel Cooper
The launch issue cover article highlighted an 11-page main feature, with Antonia Fraser, Lord Harewood and others addressing the history and issues raised by Don Carlo.
Music magazines A to Z

TV Guide front cover TV Guide was Rupert Murdoch's attempt to break into weekly TV listings in the UK as a European ruling forced Radio Times and TV Times to relinquish their monopoly on programme listings   

TV Guide

25 March 1989. Murdoch Magazines, London. 40p; 60pp. Ed: Ian Birch
Jason Donovan cover – fronting a feature and a competition to win a part in Australian soap Neighbours. The title was given a £5m advertising budget and the target circulation was set at 350,000-400,000 copies. A 48-page sample title was stitched into the March 18 issue of News of the World's Sunday magazine to promote the launch.

Rupert Murdoch's interest in the sector was based on a move in the US and the fact that the UK duopoly for TV listings held by Radio Times and TV Times was to be broken up.

In 1988, News International had bought Triangle Publications, which owned TV Guide, the market leader in the US selling 17m copies a week (it was founded in 1952). The company decided to bring the concept to the UK, with managing director Liz Rees-Jones announcing in January 1989 that it intended to launch a title to take advantage of the breaking up of the listings monopoly. This was triggered by a European Commission ruling. Several other publishers, including Emap, were also planning launches – in fact 'a flood' of launches was expected in the sector.

Media Week (6 January 1989) reported: 'The Commission's ruling relates to a complaint by Irish publishers Magill, which had tried to publish a weekly TV guide in competition with TV Times and Radio Times – which circulate widely in the Republic. The Commission has ruled that TV and Radio Times' tight rein on schedule information was contrary to Article 86 of the EC Treaty. This ruling will now have to be considered by the UK Government, which is bound by the Treaty.'

However, when TV Guide launched it could only carry details of cable and satellite listings – the terrestrial pages were merely summaries of the week's 'essential viewing'. Murdoch had to wait for legislation to break the monopoly held by Radio Times and TV Times. In December, Murdoch raised the guaranteed circulation of TV Guide by 30,000 to 150,000 copies a week. It was selling 190,335 copies a week at the time. However, in the same month, the company signalled a U-turn by deciding to turn the title into a subscriptions-based monthly for satellite TV alone in March 1990 when the duopoly on terrestrial TV listings lifted. A tough economic climate, Rupert Murdoch's debts and the £50,000 charge by Independent Television Publications for its listings put paid to the ambitious plans.

In fact, recession set in, interest rates rose and the debt from the US Triangle deal nearly sank Murdoch. He sold off most of his magazine assets in the US and the UK.

See TV Choice  

TV and film magazines

software Show Carol Vorderman
Carol Vorderman on the front cover of The Software Show magazine

The Software Show

Spring 1989. BBC/Redwood Publishing, London. Free supplement with Acorn User. 52pp. Group ed: Tony Quinn; ed: Geoff Bains.
Countdown presenter Carol Vorderman was on the front cover of this magazine produced to support BBC TV's Software Show, a day long live programme about computers which she presented. Several pages were the result of DTP packages used on the show, from Apple Macintosh, Amstrad PCW and Atari ST.
BBC Magazines profile
Redwood Publishing profile

BBC Holiday 89   

BBC Holiday '89

Spring 1989. Issue 2 shown. Redwood/BBC Enterprises. £1.75; 100 pp perfect bound. Ed: Juliet Walker
'BBC Good Holiday guide'. Precursor to BBC Holidays in 1992 under Ramune Burns
BBC Magazines profile
Holidays and travel magazines

Ziggy first issue cover
Ziggy set up Kylie Minogue as its first target: 'The dog's bollocks or a talentless Australian tart?'


1989 (publication date unclear). Big Mags, West Drayton, Middx; £1; 48 pages. Editor: Stuart Blair
"Not for boring bastards easily offended" – an attempt to do Viz with more topless women. Double-page colour centre spread devoted to 'Blind Reader's Wives' with Bouncing Bertha from Sheffield

GQ magazine first issue
Tory politician and founder of Haymarket Publishing Michael Heseltine on the cover of the first issue of GQ in the UK


December/Jan 1989. Conde Nast, London.
Paul Keers launches long-established US men's title (Gentlemen's Quarterly) in UK. Tory politician and founder of Haymarket Publishing Michael Heseltine on the cover
Conde Nast profile
Men's magazines history

Riva launch issue cover with Jerry Hall
Model Jerry Hall was on the cover for Carlton's £7.5 million launch


13 September-25 October 1988. Carlton / IPC, weekly. Ed: Sally O'Sullivan
Carlton's Riva aimed to have 'the pace of a weekly with the gloss of a monthly'. Cost 50p and first issue had model Jerry Hall (Mick Jagger's girlfriend) on cover. At £7.5 million, the launch budget was then the largest in Britain. (Bauer's weekly Bella had cost £5m the previous year.) Riva was part of a response by Carlton and IPC owner Reed to incursions in the previous year – Marie Claire to compete with Elle and Vogue at the top end of the fashion market; Essentials, a practical monthly up against Prima; and Riva facing Best and Hello!.
IPC profile
Issue breakdown

Raw heavy metal magazine first issue cover
Rogue Magazines' Raw was bought by Emap within 7 months of its launch. The first issue carried an Ozzy Osbourne flexi disc cover mount

Raw (Rock Action Worldwide)

31 August-13 September 1988. Fortnightly. Rogue Magazines, 3a Kendall Place, London W1. £1. Stapled. 60pp.
Ed: Malcolm Dome; Managing ed: Dante Bonutto; Art: Mike Simister
The first issue of this heavy metal title came with a free Ozzy Osbourne flexi disc in clear plastic mounted on the front cover. Features covered AC/DC, Metallica and a report on the Donington 88 festival. The centre spreads was a poster of Deep Purple's Ian Gillan promoting the magazine's 'best of' poll.

The associate publisher was former pop star Jonathan King, shown dressed in a schoolboy costume playing a guitar. In 2001, King was jailed for four indecent assaults and two serious sexual offences on boys aged 14 and 15. He served half of the seven-year term.

In April 1989, Emap bought the title, which claimed a circulation of up to 35,000. Sales rumbled along at 25,00-30,000 but the title always trailed behind Emap's weekly Kerrang (which it had bought when United Consumer Magazines was closed by the Express newspapers group in 1991). In 1995, Emap took Raw off the shelves for several weeks and relaunched it in October with a sample issue free with monthly Select. The aim was to base the title on pictures and news to complement Emap's Select an additional, more frequent, read. However, it closed within five months.
Teen magazines

Arena magazine cover   


Summer/Autumn 1988. Wagadon
Issue 8 shown
Wagadon profile
Men's magazines history

Riva launch issue cover with Jerry Hall
At home with Princess Margaret – a classic cover for Hello! (issue 28)


17 May. Weekly. 75p. Ed: Maggie Goodman
The Spanish publisher of Hola! circulated dummies of the magzine in February with a scheduled 12 April launch, but this was set back to May. The target circulation was 250,000 with a larger than A4 format, 148 pages, and ad/ed ratio of 33/67 (per cent).

Hello! marked the opening of a new niche, seeing itself as 'The only Good News weekly' witth an escapist format and its subjects giving aproval of the photographs. "We are bought as a treat,' Maggie Goodman told the Independent, 'like a box of chocolates.'

The magazine was part of a trend for European publishers to expand into the UK ahead of the country's entry into the European Community. It was printed in Madrid but with the last editorial being flown out on Thursday afternoon to be on sale in the UK the following Tuesday.

Hello! profile
Celebrity price war

Excel men's magazine 1988
The coverline 'How to spot a bullshitter' led to advertising for Excel being banned


April 1988. White Line Publishing. Ed: Rod Fountain
Main coverline "How to spot a bullshitter" led to its advertising being banned on the London Tube and the editorial mix under was seen as too yuppy; it soon folded (although the title would be used again more than once in the next decade)
Men's magazines history
Men's magazines A to Z

3D computer graphics magazine 1988
The advent of the Apple Macintosh and Postscript software drove the launch of titles such as 3D


April 1988. Emap, London. Controlled circulation;
56pp. Ed: Chris Cunningham
Subtitle: desktop, design, communication. With advertiser response card and survey to register for free copies
Emap profile

More! launch issue cover April 1988
More! - launch issue
More magazine cover
More! – 16-page fashion extra with the first issue. Centre spread was a double gatefold. The two parts of the magazine came in a plastic folder


6 April 1988 (fortnightly). Emap London Lifestyle, fortnightly. 55p; 64pp + 12-page fashion fold-out section + 24-page separate fashion section
Women's lifestyle/fashion title for 16- to 24-years-olds. The target reader was single and at university or working and living at home.
More on Women's glossies A to Z
Emap profile

Computerland jan 1988 front cover
Lord Young was the cover subject for this contract publishing title by Fitzroy for Computerland


Jan/Feb 1988. Free contract title for Computerland by Fitzroy. 34pp. Ed: David Hewson
A contract magazine for Computerland Europe, a franchise distributor of microcomputers, by PR group Fitzroy. Cover story based on an interview with Lord Young, the minister who headed up the trade & industry department under Margaret Thatcher. DTP was a theme throughout the issue, with the contents page even crediting SMS 19" SuperMac monitors, Quark XPress and an Agfa S200PC scanner used in the magazine's production (by Tony Tyler).

M&S magazine dummy issue cover
M&S Magazine - dummy issue. Felicity Green was editor of the 1.3 million print run contract title

M&S Magazine

November 1987. Redwood Publishing. Contract title for Marks and Spencer. Free/£1. Ed: Felicity Green
M&S Magazine was launched with a free circulation of a million copies to the retailer's charge-card holders, with hopes of selling another 300,000 copies in its shops for £1. Campaign described it as 'the 'biggest threat of the decade to upmarket women's titles' and said 'Good Housekeeping, Women's Journal and Options are watching the launch closely' (25 May 1984, p5).

It was estimated that two-thirds of ABC1 women aged 25-44 shopped at M&S at least once a month and the magazine followed customer magazine-catalogues from Harrods, Habitat and Laura Ashley. The editor was Felicity Green, who had worked on the Daily Mirror, Express (where Redwood co-founder Chris Ward had been editor) and Working Woman and was an editorial consultant for the Telegraph. Redwood art director Mike Lackersteen, who had been at Good Housekeeping, led the design team.
More on Women's glossies A to Z
Redwood profile

The Digger magazine cover October 1987
The Digger got off to a good start with 15 pages of advertising in a 40-page first issue, but closed down within a year

The Digger

9 October 1987. General Publications. 55p. 40pp. Ed & publisher: John Mulcahy
Attempt at Private Eye competitor. Used better quality, coated paper to attract colour advertising. The initial print run of the Digger was reported as 120,000 copies. It was published as a fortnightly on alternate weeks to Private Eye. The first issue had 15 ad pages, including Renault (the four colour centre pages), Ryanair and the Observer. The Times reviewed the first issue and described it as a smooth but ugly pastiche of Private Eye, aimed at yuppies. In April, however, the magazine missed an issue amid financial problems. It was reported that about £100,000 was needed to keep it afloat, but Al-Fayed Investments and Time Out refused approaches. Despite the May 22 issue coming out, the magazine was forced to bring in a liquidator.

Educational Computing October 1987
Educational Computing was born out of a merger of Redwood's School Computer User and Emap'sEducational Computing tabloid newspaper

Educational Computing

October 1987-2004? Redwood, London. Controlled circulation/subscription. 68pp. Ed: Tony Quinn; publisher: Simon Goode
Acorn User had a big readership in schools that it wanted to build on and schools were crying out for advice on using the computers that were being given. The problem, for a new, small, publisher was the cost of distribution. So Acorn User's editor, Tony Quinn and publisher, Simon Goode, approached computer educational adviser Mike Bostock for guidance on a deal with local education authorities: they would take free magazines in bulk and distribute them to schools. Redwood would make its money from advertising. Over 90% of the UK's LEAs signed up for the deal. It was a unique idea and from it a quarterly called School Computer User was launched. At about the same time, Emap had decided to close its subscription-based monthly tabloid format Educational Computing (the publisher of which was Tom Moloney, who became chief executive of Emap in 2005). This had been running for several years and had a subscription base of almost 10,000 copies, so Redwood bought the title. Redwood combined School Computer User's distribution model and editorial strategy with the name Educational Computing. The magazine's name was later expanded to Educational Computing and Technology and it was sold to ITT Publications.

Bella 1987 first issue cover
Bella was based on US title Woman's World


October 5, 1987. H. Bauer. 29p;52pp.
Ed: Dennis Neeld
Bella was Bauer's British version of US title Woman's World. LHS Brompton ran a mail drop promotion whereby 2 million copies were put through doors, mainly in London. It was estimated that three weeks after the launch, Bauer was printing 1.2m copies and selling about 680,000 of them.

The launches of titles by both Gruner and Jahr (Prima and Best) and Bauer were marked by the strategy of establishing copy sales before advertising. This was a well established method in Germany, but new to the UK. G&J was willing in to spend up to £10m on Prima before getting any return. Prima was launched with only 12 pages of advertising out of a total of 140 pages, but had 204 pages by autumn 1987, almost half of which were advertising.

Practical Parenting 1988 launch cover
Practical Parenting took market leadership from Argus under IPC

Practical Parenting

April/May 1987. Family Circle/International Thomson, London. 80p; 100pp. Ed: Davina Lloyd
A spin-off from Family Circle. The first of a 'practical' series of titles, the others being Practical Hairstyling & Beauty, and Practical Health & Slimming, that were sold in supermarkets alongside Living and Family Circle. Jill Churchill, editor of Family Circle, was editor-in-chief of the titles. Practical Parenting went monthly in March 1988 and was sold to IPC in May. By mid-1989 it was selling more than 150,000 copies a month and won the PPA's Consumer Publication of the Year award.

The high birth rate at the time led to a boom in such titles. The Argus group was the sector leader with Mother, Mother & Baby and Parents, but IPC wrested control.
IPC profile

Q first issueQ first issue with Paul McCartney as the main feature   


October 1986. Emap Metro, London. £1.10; 100pp. Ed: Mark Ellen; ed dir: David Hepworth; art dir: Andy Cowles
'Magazines tend to bracket people by taste, or what they assume that taste to be,' said Ellen in the first issue. 'This is a magazine that doesn't. but still brings you a wide range of news, comment, interviews and insight. We don't presume to know what you like but we hope you like this.'

A tip-on cover sticker promoted a 56-page CD review booklet that was tipped on to a bound-in subscription card
Music magazines A to Z
Emap profile

Capital Magazine dummy 1986
Dummy issue for Capital Magazine, which was to be handed out at rail stations in London

Capital Magazine

26 June 1986. Capital Week Ltd, London. Ed: Lottie Weychan
Capital was an attempt to launch a weekly title for London's commuters. It was to be handed out to homebound travellers at British Rail stations in central London, and make its revenue through advertising sales. The distribution figure was 150,000 copies.

The dummy issue shown here was made up of two identical 16-page sections that were stapled together with a cover.

The publisher was Sally Cartwright and the advertisement director Stephen Hart. Cartwright had been publisher of Ideal Home and Woman's Journal at IPC and went on to become managing director of Harmsworth Publications (Associated Newspapers) in 1988 and then publishing director of Hello! in 1990.

Practical Parenting 1988 launch cover
Electronic Publishing Now looked to exploit the DTP boom

Electronic Publishing Now

April 1987. D2 Publishing, Croydon. Ed: Bruce Smith
Aimed at booming desktop publishing market in companies led by the Apple Macintosh. Editor Bruce Smith had written many computer books and was the former deputy of BBC Acorn User

Computer Images October 1985
Computer Images – launch issue above and as a quarterly a year later below
Computer Images October 1986

Computer Images

October 1985. Emap McLaren, Croydon. £3. 56pp.
Ed: Bob Swain. Pub: Michael J. Eades
Supplement sent to readers of Audio Visualand Television and Video Production. By October a year later it was a quarterly.

Amstrad Action October 1985
Amstrad Action – a keyboard is reflected in the monster's eye

Amstrad Action

October 1985. Future, Somerton, Somerset. £1; 100pp. Ed: Peter Connor. Pub: Chris Anderson
Aimed at Amstrad CPC games market. Chris Anderson had been editor of Personal Computer Games and Zzap! 64 in London. He moved to Somerton and founded Future with Amstrad Action. The magazine focused on games reviews and playing them rather than typing in listings, which was a core element of the user magazines. The top of the front cover reads: 'Power-packed reviews each month on the amazing CPC 464 and 664.' To the left of the vertical masthead is another selling line: 'The mouldbreaking magazine from Future Publishing.' The editorial describes how the title was written on Amstrads and sent by modem to the typesetters, who returned typeset copy for the editors to paste up. Anderson was known as 'Ayatullah' by the staff and named newspaper tycoons Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch as his heroes.
Future profile

Country Living summer 1985
'The best in country style' was offered by the first issue of Good Housekeeping's Country Living

Country Living

Summer 1985. National Magazines. £1. 160+4pp.
Ed-in-chief: Charlotte Lessing; GH Group art director: Marie-Louise Avert; Editor: Jane Kirby; art ed: Francine Lawrence; Publishing Dir: Brian Braithwaite

David Bellamy, Susan Hill, Philippa Davenport and Eric Newby were among the featured authors for this first issue, promoted as Good Housekeeping's Country Living. Coverage included: houses and gardens, environment, food, fashion & beauty, crafts and leisure. There was a competition to win a Volvo 240DL estate 'the ultimate country car' according to a plug on the cover. One article was 'Weekenders: what do the neighbours think?'

National Magazine profile

The Hit first issue Paul WellerThe Hit billed itself as 'Harder than the rest' with Style Council's Paul Weller on the cover holding a pair of boxing gloves   

The Hit

IPC/Holborn Publishing Group. 45p; 64pp. Ed: Phil McNeill; deputy Paul Du Noyer.
The Hit billed itself as 'Harder than the rest' and featured a competition to win a pair of WBA world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan's gloves. It also carried a covermounted 4-track vinyl EP: Style Council, Jesus and Mary Chain, Redskins and Simply Red
More at Music magazines history

City Limits and Max Headroom
Max Headroom on the front of City Limits

Max Headroom on City Limits

24-30 May 1985. London Voice Ltd. 60p; 92 pp.
Eds: John Fordham & Nigel Fountain
The Max Headroom Show was a Channel 4 TV series based on a supposedly computer-generated character (the name was inspired by the sign on a car park in London's Soho). The character was created by George Stone, Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton and played by Matt Frewer. Max fronted the series presenting music videos. Jankel and Morton also wrote a book on computer graphics around the same time
Time Out profile

Duck Soup magazine launch issue cover
Duck Soup – tabloid paper that was folded in half to show A4 cover for newsagents' shelves

Duck Soup

April 1985. Duck Soup Pubs, London. £1; 32pp. Eds: Tom Johnston and David Austin.
Tabloid newsprint cartoon title. A3 format folded to A4 to fit newsagents' shelves.

MicroMath journal
MicroMath – the cover of this academic journal showed an computer image using fractal techniques


Spring 1985. Journal of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics / Basil Blackwell. £12.50/year; 68pp. Eds: Derek Ball & John Wood
Journal of the Association of  Teachers of Maths.

Big K April 1984
Big K – later issues featured a cartoon series drawn on an Appl Macintosh, below
Bik K computer cartoon spread Shatter 1984

Big K

IPC Magazines, London. April 1984. 85p. 108pp. Ed: Tony Tyler; pub dir: John Purdie
Games title with free cassette. Based on readers typing in games listings. First issue had programs for the Commodore Vic20 and 64, Oric, BBC/Acorn and Sinclair Spectrum. In issue 12 (March 1985) it launched a comic strip – Shatter – drawn on an Apple Macintosh, which claimed to be a world first (by Mike Saenz, Peter B. Gillis and Mike Gold).

Fast Lane april 1984
Fast Lane – the first issue with a Porsche 911 Carrera supertest on the cover

Fast Lane

April 1984. Business Press International (IPC). 116pp + gatefold cover. 90p. Ed: Peter Dron (ex-Motor). Porsche 911 Carrera supertest on the cover with 6 pages inside. BMW M635 (4 pages); VW Golf GTi pitted against Nissan Cherry Turbo, Vauxhall Astra GTE and Ford Escort XR3i (6 pages). Other coverage: 360bhp twin-engined VW Scirocco, BMW K100, BMW 318i , Toyota Corolla GT Coupe, Audi 200 Turbo, Renault 25
IPC profile

BBC Wildlife Nov 1983
BBC Wildlife – bringing the red-eyed tree frog Agalychnis callidryas to national fame
BBC Wildlife May 1983
Wildlife before the BBC's relaunch, with a salamander, Ensatina eschscholtzii, on its cover

BBC Wildlife

November 1983. BBC Publications and Wildlife Publications, Bristol; £1; 56 pages. Editor: Rosamund Kidman Cox
The cover touted this as 'volume 1 number 1', but this was not a new publication. It was the BBC's relaunch of Wildlife, a title that had begun life in 1963 as Animals with a television presenter, Armand Dennis, as editor. By 1983 it was run by Wildlife Publications Ltd, in London's Great Portland St.

The corporation retained many of the staff, including the editor. The sub-A4 format was also retained but the price rose from 75p.

BBC Wildlife joined the Radio Times and The Listener in the BBC's publications division, which was part of BBC Enterprises.

Kidman Cox stayed as editor until 2004 when the BBC put the magazine under the control of its Origin Publishing division, which it had recently bought. She carried on judging the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition.
BBC Magazines profile

personal Computer News
Personal Computer News – issue 88 of the weekly from Nov 24 1984

Personal Computer News

March 1983. VNU. Ed: Cyndy Miles. Publisher: Felix Dennis
Weekly consumer title covering all the then-incompatible home computers such as Sinclair Spectrum, BBC Micro and Commodore 64
Dennis profile

Micro Update February 1983
Micro Update covered all the machine formats and put women on its covers to appeal to male readers

Micro Update

February 1983. Argus, London. 75p; 124pp. Editor:  Paul Liptrot
A feature on the British computer the Oric, reveals it was named after Orac, from the Blakes Seven TV series.


Your Computer invents cover disc

December 1982. IPC, London; 60p;164 pages. Editor: Toby Wolpe
At at time when computer discs were unknown outside the world of mainframes, micro owners typed listings in by hand. With this plastic disc, played at 33.3 rpm, computer programs could be input as binary sounds. Disc held games for the Sinclair ZX81
IPC profile

TV Choice magazine launch issue cover
TV Choice was closed by legal action over listings copyright

TV Choice

November 1982. 25p
TV programme guide launched by Mr Michael Storey with an initial print run of 100,000. The publishers had to give temporary High Court undertakings that the magazine would not contain material copied without authority from BBC or ITV schedules. However, TV Choice was forced to suspend publication in January 1983 after both ITV Publications and BBC Publications alleged that the magazine had breached their copyright.

Time Out still pressed ahead with a campaign to publish listings in the face of legal action from the BBC and ITV.

A title with the same name was launched in Bauer in 1999.
IPC profile

Acorn User July 1982 first issue
Acorn User one of the many machine-specific titles that thrived in the 1980s. It eventually closed in 2005

Acorn User

July 1982- spring 2005. Addison-Wesley/Redwood/BBC/Europress. Editor: Tony Quinn
Successful title for BBC Micro users. Sold a year later to founders of contract publisher Redwood Publishing, a company later taken over by the BBC. Launched BBC titles such as Good Food and Gardeners' World
BBC Magazines profile
Redwood Publishing profile

Executive men's magazine May 1982
The cover girl was Janine Andrews for Executive's first issue


May 1982. Fragilion, London; 85p; 100 pp. Ed: Brian Keogh.
'For the man of today.' Playboy-style magazine
Men's magazines history
Men's magazines A to Z

Sky monthly launch issue
Rupert Murdoch's Sky debut issue front cover with Nick Kamen and Charlotte Lewis


23 April 1982 (fortnightly). News International and Hachette. 65p; 86pp (numbered). Ed: Ian Birch. Design consultant: Malcolm Garrett
Nick Kamen and Charlotte Lewis were on the fold-out debut cover of this ambitious fortnightly. The whole issue was a very complex production task:
  • gatefold front cover;
  • cut-down page widths to delineate sections;
  • 4 internal gate-folds.
Sky: 'a new magazine for a new generation'
More at Men's magazines history

Options womens monthly launch issue
Options debut issue front cover


April 1982. Created and produced by Carlton Publishing; copyright IPC. 236 pp; 60p. Ed: Penny Radford.
Women's monthly with the selling line 'For your way you want to live now.' The spine copy read: 'Better food/better homes/better fashion/better living'. Articles included Warren Beatty profile; Shirley Williams interview; and columns by Simon Hoggart and Libby Purves.
Details at Women's magazines A to Z

Science Now part wotk
Science Now part work

Science Now (part work)

1982. Marshall Cavendish, London. 75p; 40pp plus an A2 poster (later issues 32pp).
A weekly part work from the UK's biggest publisher in the sector.

Interiors first issue cover
Interiors – the first issue; it was later bought by Conde Nast to become World of Interiors


November 1981. Pharos Publications, Chelsea, London. £1.50; 208pp. Editor-in-chief: Min Hogg;
Publisher: Kevin Kelly
Kevin Kelly set up Interiors and by 1983 it was half owned by Condé Nast and had changed its name to World of Interiors. In April that year, the magazine ran TV advertising, with spots on Channel Four alongside repeats of Brideshead Revisited. The magazine had increased its circulation from 40,500 to 43,436 with 5,000 more copies going to the US.

In 1984, World of Interiors was voted consumer magazine of the year and Min Hogg editor of the year. Wendy Harrop, art director, was runner-up in the design section. In December, Harrop was appointed editor and creative director.

In 1985, Kelly persuaded Condé Nast and the Financial Times to join with him in launching Business magazine. In 1988, Kelly sold his interest (20%) in the two titles to Condé Nast. This was because of his success in bringing US title W to the UK as a fortnightly. It was selling 40,000 copies under editor Jane Procter within 18 months of its launch (Queensgate Publications).

Hogg stepped down from World of Interiors in 2001, to be replaced by her deputy Rupert Thomas. By then it was selling 65,000 copies a month.

Kicks magazine cover November 1981
Kicks mixed music with fashion. Bow Wow Wow's Annabella Lwin was on the cover


November 1981. Teenage Kicks, London. 50p; 48pp Ed: Bert MacIver; design: Andy Dark.
The first issue of Kicks covered music, fashion, film and advice on sex problems. It also published the lyrics and music to 'Play to Win' by Heaven 17. Annabella Lwin, 15-year-old singer for Malcolm McLaren's New Wave band Bow Wow Wow was on the cover with an interview by Debbie Geller of US magazine Rolling Stone. Only the centre 8 pages and cover were printed in colour
More at Music magazines history

City Limits first issue cover 1981
City Limits first issue cover in David King's constructivist style. The copy in the blue star says 'Incorporating "NOT..."', a news sheet the staff had put out while on strike at Time Out
City Limits magazine cover
'Psycho' Tebbit in action
City Limits 12 April 1990
A late City Limits cover with a photograph of US writer William Burroughs from 12 April 1990

City Limits

October 9-15 1981. London Voice Ltd, 313 Upper Street, Islington, London N1. Distributed by New Statesman. 40p. 92pp. Ed: John Fordham
City Limits was launched by many of the former staff of Time Out (referred to, in a Private-Eyeish way as Another London Magazine) who had left during a protracted dispute after owner Tony Elliot ended the system of equal pay for all staff.

During the dispute, Time Out staff had produced a protest news sheet called Not Time Out and this is referred to in the blue star on the front cover of the first City Limits, which says 'Incorporating "NOT...".'

The launch issue's editorial states: 'Six months, innumerable dismissals, several writs, threats, recriminations, sit-ins, lock-outs and undignified rumbles later, we have brought you City Limits – a paper that we think you'll agree was worth the fight.'

Cartoonist Steve Bell's Maggie's Farm switched from Time Out with the first outing in City Limits portraying Norman Tebbit ripping off an interviewer's head on Maggie's order 'Get him Psycho!'

Art director Carol Warren employed design consultant David King to establish an immediately recognisable cover style on a low budget. Christopher Wilson interviewed King for a 2003 issue of Eye and described his work so: 'His graphic style – an easily recognisable mix of explosive sans serif typography, solid planes of vivid colour and emphatic rules – reworked for the New Left in Britain the graphic language of the Russian Constructivists.' Jeremy Leslie's book Issues: New Magazine Design features a spread of City Limits covers. King had a unique collection of Soviet imagery. The collection was acquitted by the Tate museum in 2016.

City Limits folded in the early 1990s.
Time Out profile
Exhibition with City Limits and Time Out covers

Not... Time Out September 1981
Not ... (Time Out) issues 17 (September 11) and 18
Not...  18 May 1981
   Ros Asquith cartoon

Not ... (Time Out)

April-October 1981.
Not ... was produced by the staff of Time Out who were sacked. It was a free, tabloid format newspaper printed by East End Offset. Issue 17 was subtitled 'City Limits minus 4' because by then the staff had raised funding to relaunch in a magazine format. Under the headline 'City Limits out on October 8', the front page splash (alongside a photo of Labour MP Tony Benn reading an earlier copy of the free paper) stated:

'The new magazine produced by more than forty of the sacked staff of Time Out will be on the street on October 8. ... The cover price for 84 pp will be 40p – 10p cheaper than the old Time Out.'

The Greater London Council under left-wing leader Ken Livingstone funded the title. So it was ironic that the launch of City Limits was made possible by legislation brought in by the Thatcher government (from issue 18):

'Our new company will comply with the Tory government's new Small Business Start-up Scheme. This offers massive tax advantages both to private and business investors.'

City Limits was expected to have a turnover of £1.25 million in its first year.

Time Out profile
Exhibition with City Limits and Time Out covers

The Face first issue may 1980
The Face first issue cover

The Face

September 1980. Feet First Productions for Wagadon. 60p. 64pp. Ed: Nick Logan. Design: Feet First & Steve Bush Inc. Printed by Seven Valley Press

Jerry Dammers of the Specials was the first issue cover subject for The Face. The photo was taken by Chalkie Davies

The Face profile

Now! news magazine 14 september 1979
Now! was a British news weekly funded by James Goldsmith


14-20 September 1979. Cavenham Communications, London. 50p; 144pp. Ed: Anthony Shrimsley
James Goldsmith was behind this attempt to create a European-facing British news weekly. It closed after about 2 years
News magazines history

personal computer world April 1978
The UK's first magazine for microcomputer enthusiasts – in the days when you built your own

Personal Computer World

April 197
UK's first micro magazine. The title was closed down in spring 2009.
Computer magazine history

Sell Out first issue cover from Time Out
Sell Out first issue cover. It was a spin-off from the London listings magazine Time Out

Sell Out

April 1975. Best Brands Ltd, 374 Gray's Inn Rd, London WC1X 8BB. 40p; 68pp; A4 format. Ed: Janet Street-Porter; publisher: Tony Elliott
Spin-off from Time Out's Sell Out section, which listed bargains and carried consumer information. Marketed as 'an indispensable survival guide.' The cover used spot red but all the other pages were in mono on uncoated paper. The cover matter was a thin card. All the listings in the magazine were free. The editor was Janet Street-Porter – Elliott's wife till 1978 – who was later to make her name on radio and television and, in 1999, as editor of the Independent on Sunday newspaper. In 2002 she became the paper's editor-at-large and writes a column.
Time Out profile

Private View magazine cover
Private View first issue cover. The red box shows a face (possibly Sullivan?) shouting 'Nice one Harold!' as a pipe-smoking fisherman (prime minister Harold Wilson?) hooks the bikini bottoms off the bathing woman

Private View

March 1974. Roafield Publishing, Godwin Rd, Forest Gate, London E7. Published by David Sullivan. Edited by Miss Doreen Millington; assistant editor Paul Cufley; advertising by Charles Green. 32pp. No price.

Private View modelled itself, at least visually, on Private Eye, but its agenda was attacking pornography laws, the police and the way the press reported on adult book dealers. The publisher was David Sullivan, one of the biggest porn barons in Britain and boyfriend of porn actress Mary Millington. (In 2010, Sullivan bought a half stake in West Ham FC, the ground being 2 miles away from the Forest Gate house were Private View was published).

In the editorial, Doreen Millington states she has just launched a campaign to legalise pornography in her other title, Private Magazine (published from the same address). Such campaigning is also the theme of Private View. The cover summarises the contents as: ‘Satire, Politics, Social Comment, Sexy!'

The first feature, by Doreen Millington [later Whitehouse editor], is a diatribe against the press:

'I am fed up with the way the national press treat the adult book dealers – we all know that they use SEX to sell their papers; yet they refer to adult book dealers as 'Merchants of Menace', 'Porn pushers', etc.'
The article goes on to detail the fate of her friends who had been prosecuted for conspiracy to produce obscene articles and what a waste of police resources such action was. Mary Millington committed suicide in 1979, an act was partly blamed on continual police raids on her sex shops.

The distributor was Walton Press (Sales), 7 Grenville Rd, London N19.