Every morning starts the same way: as my computer cranks up I tune the radio in so that I can hear what Moylesy is banging on about, then I flick the TV opposite my desk on to Sky News where it usually stays throughout the day.
Ever since I launched heatworld.com in May 2007 I like to get to work around 8.15am. It means I can get my head around the day’s news agenda before publishing the website’s first story of the day at 9am. Today we’re kicking off with a round-up of all the information on the weekend birth of Knox and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt: their weight, the time of birth, the inspiration behind the baby names, Brad’s reaction, what Angelina was wearingâ€¦
But when the rest of the staff arrive, at around 9.30am, conversation swiftly shifts to Mamma Mia! the movie which has just had a phenomenal opening weekend. And thank God, because we’ve got Justin Lee Collins and Alan Carr dressing up as their favourite ABBA album covers for this week’s issue.
One of the many reasons I love Heat is that you can have a bonkers idea like that one minute and the next thing you know, you’ve got proper, quality celebrities bringing it to life.
I switch the radio over to head into a mini-conference with the web, mobile and radio teams at 9.30am where we discuss the big stories and issues for the day. At midday all my department heads converge for our big conference, where we present our ideas for the following week’s issue.
This is one of my favourite times of the week as it’s like listening to a bunch of Heat readers talking about their favourite celebrities. Heat’s editor at large Dan Fulvio reduces the meeting to a hysterical mess as he recounts how he thought Jaime Winston’s name was actually pronounced J’am until he called her agent earlier…
The new issue hit the stands this morning and I am very pleased to see that once again, Heat is the only magazine to have its stories featured in the newspapers and various websites. The staff meet up for the second conference of the week where I get wind that there’s a set of pictures featuring the new Little Britain USA characters – I am desperate to see them. Once I know of their existence, I am like a stuck record asking every 15 minutes: ‘Have you heard anything about those pictures yet?”
At lunchtime I jump in a cab to get to an acupuncture appointment and answer a gazzilion missed calls, emails and texts. At this point in the week I’ve usually got absolutely no idea what’s going to be on next week’s cover – but I’m not too bothered as I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants. At 8pm I get a text to let me know the Little Britain pictures have been secured exclusively.
A rather unusual start this morning as I am in Gloucestershire at the house I grew up in waiting to be interviewed by Cotswold Life magazine. Unlike Alex James, Kate Moss et al, I am a Cotswold lad born and bred and unbelievably thrilled to have been asked to be their ‘Cotswold Character’ for the September issue. I can’t deny, my heart skips a beat when the interviewer tells me the next local she’s lined up for a chat is Liz Hurley. I spend the rest of the day leaning out of the attic window trying to get a signal on my mobile and liaising with the team via email about how the issue is coming together. On the train on the way back to London I go over the flatplan, shift content around, answer more emails and sketch the cover we’ll start working on tomorrow.
Thursdays always fly by in a blur of meetings, proofs, mini-meltdowns when something unexpectedly falls through, looking at stacks of picturesâ€¦ It’s this crazy energy that I really love about my job. Looking back, I’ve got no idea what I used to do with my time when I worked on monthly magazines. Even when it’s mentally busy like this I try to pop out for 20 minutes to grab some lunch – I really enjoy being in the middle of Covent Garden and observing what everyone’s up to and what they’re wearing. Today it’s just a quick trip to Kastner and Ovens with an old pal who now works on Grazia: we talk about Lindsay Lohan’s lesbianism, Katie Holmes’ bizarre new hair and my friend’s impending nuptials. A late night tonight (for Heat) – we finish at 7.30pm.
Friday is the day Heat goes to press, but because I was the kid who did his homework on the bus on the way to school there are always lots of empty pages to fill on a Friday morning. We’ll have developed lots of different stories as the week has gone on, but I much prefer leaving the final decision over what to include until the last possible moment. It usually means my managing editor (production) Kevin McCreeth is tearing his rapidly greying hair out by mid-morning, but everyone understands the energy of the magazine depends on working this way. I have a weekly catch-up with my boss at 4pm and we talk over some of my plans for the future.