MEDIA PROFILE: In the safe hands of a real foodie - Orlando Murrin, editor, BBC Good Food

If you’re stuck for something to do on a Thursday night, why not pop down to Kettner’s in Soho. Grab a pizza and a beer and sit back in your chair to enjoy the piano skills of one Orlando Murrin. Now, Murrin is a man of many talents. He’s not only a pianist and a former finalist on BBC’s Masterchef programme, but has also just landed the editor’s job at BBC Good Food magazine.

If you’re stuck for something to do on a Thursday night, why not

pop down to Kettner’s in Soho. Grab a pizza and a beer and sit back in

your chair to enjoy the piano skills of one Orlando Murrin. Now, Murrin

is a man of many talents. He’s not only a pianist and a former finalist

on BBC’s Masterchef programme, but has also just landed the editor’s job

at BBC Good Food magazine.



’The Kettner’s job is the best piano job in London,’ Murrin chirps. ’I

used to play five nights a week all around London when I left college

and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a pianist or a journalist, but in

the end you find you’re playing the same tune 1,000 times and you hate

it.’



His piano ambitions lasted five years, during which time he cut his

journalistic teeth on the Radio Times and transferred to a variety of

home and lifestyle titles before becoming editor of Woman and Home. He

left in 1996 and moved to Emap Apex as special project editor to develop

a new title. After this project was postponed he provided cover at

Cosmopolitan before securing the Good Food job.



’Good Food is in quite good shape,’ says Murrin. ’You get quite a lot of

editorial liberty and the Corporation trusts you so you don’t betray

that trust. The photography and the cooking is a bit predictable

though.



I am trying to make it more impressive while keeping it aimed squarely

at the mass market. Good Food is the recipe bible of the country and

will stay that way. It’s certainly not going to become a lifestyle title

or anything.’



This change means recruiting new photographers, contributors and a new

features editor as well as a new art editor. Murrin is keen to point out

that these were existing vacancies and not sackings. From June next year

BBC Good Food will finally be in the new format that Murrin craves, but

he admits it is going to be a long process.



’Magazines are quite organic when it comes to changing them

successfully,’ he says. ’We will completely re-format the title but it

will take us from January to May of next year. You just have to do what

you can when you can and with what you’ve got. That sounds defeatist but

I mean it to be realistic.’



Practical words from a man whose appearance on Masterchef included

making seed cakes for his birds. According to one former colleague:

’Orlando is brilliant and he has an unbelievable eye for detail, but he

also has strong ideas about how he likes things done. I’ve noticed the

two often go together - and that can lead to clashes if you oppose him.

He’ll get the job done, though.’



HIGHLIGHTS

1988

Copywriter, Grey Advertising

1991

Deputy editor, Living

1993

Deputy editor, Woman and Home

1994

Editor, Woman and Home

1997

Editor, BBC Good Food



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