Redesigned GQ adds agony aunt and travel

GQ: the new look has resulted in a complete reorganisation

GQ has signed up the manager of The Clash as its first agony aunt.

The news comes as the magazine unveils a radical redesign, which this month sees a digitally enhanced makeover of Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, who can be seen holding a drink in every picture.

Kennedy is cast in four separate poses – Politico Charles, Rustic Charles, Party Charles and Holiday Charles, in which he sports a floral print linen shirt, sunglasses and cream button-up baggy trousers.

Editor Dylan Jones said: “My brief to art director Steven Baille was to make the magazine look about 15 to 20 per cent more sophisticated without it being any less male and I think he has achieved that fantastically well. I gave him the option of redesigning the magazine over three months and he’s done it all in one issue and, although it needs a little bit of tweaking, I think essentially the template is there.”

Jones is hoping the introduction of Trish Ronan (the wife of Clash bass player Paul Simonon) as an agony aunt will also be a big hit with readers when it appears next month. “She is particularly irreverent, she is very funny and a great writer. I don’t think you can do something like this and make it entirely tongue-in-cheek -there has to be some seriousness about it – but hopefully it will be funny as well,” he said.

“I thought it was an aspect of the magazine we’d never had and would be interesting to try. There is absolutely no reason why at some point in the future we shouldn’t have an astrology page.”

The new look has resulted in a complete reorganisation, with several new sections and the use of new graphics and photography. A new section entitled ‘Talk’ has been introduced to the middle of the magazine, featuring regular columnists Boris Johnson, Simon Kelner, Will Self and Peter Mandelson. The fashion has been drawn together in one place and the fitness and adventure coverage has been expanded. From next month there will also be a dedicated travel section.

Jones said GQ had commissioned Kennedy to write a profile of David Bowie. “He’s a huge fan. I asked him to write it when I bumped into him at a David Bowie concert last autumn.”

Commenting on the makeover, he said: “They’re great pictures, they show an irreverent side to his character.”

By Ruth Addicott

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