MEDIA Profile: Fulfilling her Express wishes - Katy Bravery, editor, Express on Sunday Magazine

It must be a bit rum, working at the Express. Over the last year or so it’s had a name change, moved from having separate daily and Sunday papers to a seven-day-a-week title, had more editors than you can shake a stick at and now it’s got a new magazine relaunch to contend with.

It must be a bit rum, working at the Express. Over the last year or

so it’s had a name change, moved from having separate daily and Sunday

papers to a seven-day-a-week title, had more editors than you can shake a

stick at and now it’s got a new magazine relaunch to contend with.



The magazine’s editor, Katy Bravery, doesn’t actually call it a

relaunch.



She calls it an evolution. True, the magazine has changed its name from

Boulevard to the Express On Sunday Magazine. True, the cover is different,

there are new contents and, in her words, a new attitude. But it’s just a

rejig. Okay?



The old magazine was intended to be a cross between Hello’s photography

and the Spectator’s writing. But Bravery didn’t think this was working

well enough, although she thought it was a good idea at the time. ’People

expect certain things on a Sunday,’ she says. ’They want gardening ,food

and health. It just needed a bit more fun.’



Katy is a fun person and that’s the sort of staff she wants working on the

magazine. She’s employed people of all ages, provided they are

young-minded, because that’s what the magazine’s readers are like. She

likes cooking and reading about celebrities, as do her staff, and that’s

what the magazine’s readers like.



’It’s most important to have a good tone of voice,’ she says. ’I love

magazines like Arena, Esquire and GQ. They are slighty irreverent and they

can be fun, bright and intelligent without saying ’Phwoarh!’ at naked

women. That’s the kind of style I think newspapers can learn from and

that’s the sort of style I want for this magazine.’



Bravery’s changes include drafting in a new columnist, Ysenda Maxtone

Graham, from the main paper and introduced a page of humorous

snippets.



These include a weekly wind-up call to hallowed institutions - such as the

call to the Savoy hotel asking if an S&M party could be held there.



Then there’s the weekly profile of eccentric jobs in Britain. This week

it’s a marshman, but it could be something like a village pond keeper.



These aspects of British eccentricity are something Bravery is keen

on.



’There are so many wonderful things about being British that we don’t

celebrate,’ she says. ’We’ve tried to use as much of that as possible.



Our gardening section is also drawn from the National Garden Scheme where

people ranging from council house owners to stately home inhabitants open

their gardens to the public.’



The cover of the magazine has changed, but it’s where you’ll still find

the celebrity. They show off the interiors of their houses (’pornography

for women!’ says Bravery) and answer cultural quizzes as well as the usual

questions.



Towards the back of the magazine is a page of coupons. In their defence,

Bravery says: ’Well, I know what some people think about coupons but I

like them. If something is done in a funky, fun way then I think it’s all

right. That’s the point, isn’t it? It’s got to be fun.’



HIGHLIGHTS

1989

Commissioning editor, Sydney Morning Herald

1994

Features editor, Sunday Express

1994

Editor, Sunday Mirror Magazine

1997

Editor, Express on Sunday Magazine



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