Former Heat editor on when celebrity stopped being fun

Mark Frith, former editor of Heat magazine, has revealed he left the celebrity weekly he felt partly to blame for Britain’s unhealthy celebrity culture.

Writing in The Independent to promot his recent book, The Celeb Diaries, Frith explains that he felt celebrity culture turned sour as both the media and audience became more and more obsessed. He said:

‘Gradually the celebrity world stopped being so much fun. Every time you switched on MTV they were glorifying the latest showbiz casualty by handing them their own fly-on-the-wall show, and we were suddenly seeing things many of us just didn’t want to see.

“This wasn’t the romance of the first kiss or the development of a friendship like in those early reality TV shows – this was mental illness and substance abuse and dysfunction.”

Frith edited Heat for ten years, announcing his departure to write his memoirs in February this year.

Explaining why he felt it was time to leave, Frith said:

‘As time went on, I began to feel complicit in all of this while, according to some sectors of the media, it was my fault that Amy Winehouse was stumbling around at four in the morning, covered in blood. Britney Spears was troubled because of all those paparazzi, and those paparazzi were there because of celebrity-magazine editors like me.”

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