Olins: will work with team of six
Former Face editor Adam Higginbottom and Ben Olins, who edited Hotdog, are preparing to launch the first official magazine for hit TV series Big Brother.
The title is being produced by a team of six at the offices of multi-media publishing company Zone, which won the contract after a successful pitch to Channel 4.
The 80-page glossy will offer a guide to the new show with exclusive material, interviews with the housemates before and after they enter the house and one-off interactive features and competitions.
It is hoped the launch will follow the success of dedicated Big Brother titles abroad such as the weekly French version which is said to have sold 200,000 copies a week during the show’s run.
The first issue in the UK is scheduled to coincide with the start of Big Brother 3 at the end of this month and will have a print run of between 150,000 and 200,000.
Zone managing director James Freedman said he was hoping to sell "well over 100,000" copies. The second issue will coincide with the show’s final episode in August but Freedman said he was hoping to turn it into a permanent fixture. He described the title as a "one-stop shop" and given its exclusive access to the stars, it could prove to be a competitor to other celebrity titles such as Now and Heat – both of which said their Big Brother issues were among their biggest selling issues of last year.
"I am sure some of it will be picked up by the tabloids as we’ll have access to the contestants," he told Press Gazette.
According to Zone, the last 12-week run of Big Brother in the UK made 110 separate tabloid front pages.
Freedman said a number of publishers had approached Channel 4 but Zone had a long-standing relationship with the broadcaster having worked on previous magazine projects linked to Manchester Utd and the Spice Girls.
"Big Brother is an outstanding brand. We’re extremely pleased that Channel 4 has decided to work with us on this project," he added.
By Ruth Addicott