Maxim takes terminally ill reader on 'trip of a lifetime'

By Alyson Fixter

Maxim magazine claims to have sent a terminally ill reader on a
press trip and photographed him surrounded by naked models for a
controversial feature which appears in the April edition of the mag.

The spread, headed “This man is dying”, shows heart patient Daniel
Titley, 24, at the launch of PlayStation game Shadow of Rome, which
took place on a set designed to look like a Roman orgy, complete with
goldpainted women.

Maxim editor Greg Gutfeld insisted that the
feature was not a stunt or an April Fool, but a genuine attempt to get
readers more involved in the magazine.

In a swipe at rival GQ, he
said Maxim was trying to get away from the “Gee, don’t we look cool”
attitude of men’s magazines, by giving out freebies to people who
deserved them more than jaded hacks.

But the feature is likely to attract criticism for its light-hearted approach to the topic.

According
to the piece, Titley, who had a heart transplant when he was 11 and is
not expected to live past 30, contacted the mag after it advertised in
its January edition for terminally ill readers to take up free trips.

Gutfeld
said: “I used to go on press junkets when I was at Men’s Health and I
really started to hate travel writers because they were getting all
these free trips and they never appreciated it.

“I thought there must be a way to give these things to people who wouldn’t have the opportunity otherwise.

“Here’s
a guy who’s barely left his home town, who’s spent most of his life in
and out of hospital and he gets to spend the day being touched by naked
beautiful women.

“It’s probably one of the only things I’ve done in my life that I’m proud of.”

In
a leader to go alongside the Titley feature, Gutfeld also had a dig at
rival GQ, describing a GQ press trip article as the “world’s crappiest
travel writing”.

The piece – which features statements such as:
“As I padded around my terrace in my ikat kikoki (silk sarong), an
ice-cold beer in one hand and the latest Tony Parsons in the other, I
felt like Noel Coward, Ian Fleming and Alan Whicker all rolled into
one” – is pinpointed as the epitome of bad men’s magazine writing.

Staff at GQ were not available for comment on the feature.

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