MEDIA: PROFILE; Now is the time for saucy gossip: David Durman, editor- in-chief IPC Woman’s Group

Celebrity sex is the UK’s favourite media gossip and IPC’s Now is the latest in a series of magazines providing us with intimate details of the lives of the famous.

Celebrity sex is the UK’s favourite media gossip and IPC’s Now is the

latest in a series of magazines providing us with intimate details of

the lives of the famous.



For joint launch editor David Durman, sex and magazines are a natural

fit. ‘Launching a magazine is brilliant,’ Durman says. ‘It’s as good as

sex with the nicest person you know.’



Durman should know. He worked on the Leeds University student newspaper

in the permissive 1960s under its editor, the now legendary Paul Dacre.



On graduating, Durman trained on the Newcastle Journal before following

Dacre to the Daily Mail in Manchester.



The Daily Mail believes in ‘creative tension’ between journalists.

That’s creative tension between journalists on the same title, the same

newsdesk and even the same story. For a child of the 1960s like Durman

it was Hell on Earth. ‘I hated the Mail from the moment I walked in the

door,’ he explains. ‘I ended up going down to the Mail in London because

I thought it would be different, but it wasn’t. It was so frustrating. I

knew I could write, but I couldn’t write for them.’



Durnam decided to hit the freelance trail and began working for IPC’s

Woman’s Own, became deputy features editor and rose to deputy editor

before departing for the IPC owned rival title Woman. He was editor for

six and a half years which he thinks may have been one and a half years

too long.



‘Most of us hang on to relationships after we should have let go,’

Durman says. ‘The same is true for jobs. I spoke to Jenny Green, a long

established editor of Country Life, just before she retired. She said

editors spend the first year improving the magazine, the second year

getting rid of people who are in the way, the third year coasting, the

fourth year looking for another job and the fifth year panicking because

they haven’t got one.’



His love of the job can have telling effects, however. ‘We keep going on

these management courses where they tell us not to dedicate our lives to

the job,’ he says. ‘I didn’t take it all that seriously until this

weekend. We’d been working on Now so hard that I was exhausted. I got up

Saturday lunchtime, went into the kitchen and found a veal and ham pie.

I’d never had one before so I tucked in and wasn’t that impressed.I went

back to bed, woke up early evening, went into the kitchen again and

found I should have heated up the pie for half an hour. No wonder it

tasted like cat food. In a few year’ time, that’ll probably be a

defining moment in my life.’



HIGHLIGHTS



1981 Features editor, Woman’s Own

1982 Deputy editor, Woman’s Own

1988 Editor, Woman

1994 Launch editor, Chat

1996 Editor-in-chief IPC Woman’s Group, overseeing the launch of Now, as

well as Woman, Woman’s Own and Chat



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