OK and Hello: Most content is pre-approved with celebs

The editors of magazines OK and Hello revealed today that most of their content is pre-approved by the celebrities that feature in their titles.

Celebrity weekly editors Lucie Cave of Heat (circulation 327,000), Lisa Byrne of OK (473,000) and Rosie Nixon of Hello (circulation 413,00) gave evidence together to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards this morning.

Nixon revealed that 70 per cent of the material in her magazine is pre-agreed and Byrne that 80 per cent of the content in her magazine is pre-agreed.

Cave said that Heat does not generally give celebrities copy approval.

All three were asked what they would do if they contacted the subject of a story in advance and their representative said they did not want it to appear.

Heat’s Cave said: “If it was a big story for our readers about a couple that have split up for example and we feel it is important to tell our readers about it we take the stance that we still would publish it. However we will work with the PRs.”

Hello editor Nixon said: “If somebody doesn’t want us to run something we don’t run it. We wouldn’t get access to a big event in their lives in the future if we have done something to upset them.”

Asked if OK magazine would run a story when somebody has said no to it appearing, Byrne said: “I can’t remember that ever happening.”

Heat editor Cave was quizzed about pictures which recently appeared in her title of Simon Cowell on a yacht with a woman – apparently taken in a private place.

Cave said: “We didn’t check with Simon Cowell in this instance…We know from working with him that he enjoys the lifestyle that goes with his celebrity and we took the decision that he’s clearly playing up to the paparazzi that are there. In this instance we didn’t feel that he would have a problem with us publishing that picture.”

Cave said it was not unusual for reality TV stars to make money from selling posed pictures to celebrity magazines. She said that Heat magazine, unusually, generally makes it clear to readers when it is publishing posed pictures.

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