Homes sector gets touch of celeb glamour

Celebrity Homes: publisher Merricks Media is hoping for sales of 100,000

A new magazine hopes to shake up the home interest sector by turning its focus on celebrities.

Celebrity Homes was launched this week by Bath-based property and lifestyle publisher Merricks Media.

Aimed at professional women aged 28 to 45, it promises to offer practical advice on how to recreate the look and homes of celebrities.

The first issue features supermodel Helena Christensen in her New York apartment and celebrity hairdresser Trevor Sorbie in his modern waterside apartment in London.

Editor Lynette Peck said the homes would range from “shabby chic to sleek” and the title would attract readers interested in home interiors but who had grown up as part of the “celebrity generation” hooked on magazines such as Now, Hello! and Heat.

She stressed Celebrity Homes would not intrude on Hello!’s territory because it was fundamentally a homes title. “If you want a different style magazine and are interested in celebrities, there is nothing out there for you,” she said.

Freelance journalist Rebecca Gooch is on board as deputy editor, Ryan Levitt (ex-Wallpaper, Arena and Independent on Sunday) is features/ celebrity editor, Emma Swift (ex-House Beautiful) is art director and Sarah Kirby (ex-Now) is picture editor.

The title has signed up celebrity columnists Carol Vorderman from Countdown and Anna RyderRichardson from Changing Rooms. In addition, Lord Brockett, of I’m A Celebrity… fame, will write a regular column on architecture, comedian Jenny Eclair will write about decorating and former Olympic gymnast Suzanne Dando will share her views on gardening.

Celebrity Homes is expected to be one of the biggest launches from Merricks Media this year. Managing director Lisa Doerr said it was also the first of many launches in key lifestyle areas.

It will have a print run of 250,000 and cover price of £2.00. The company is looking for settle-down sales of 100,000 and hopes that it will become a leading purchase alongside the UK’s top-selling homes titles, Ideal Home and House Beautiful on news-stands.

The monthly will be backed by an extensive promotional campaign in the national and regional press, and Peck has secured an exclusive tie-up with GMTV’s LK Today, hosted by Lorraine Kelly, which will go inside stars’ homes and show viewers how to do their own celebrity make-overs with help from the magazine.

Peck has worked for tabloids such as The Sun and fashion glossies such as Vogue and New Woman in Australia.

Prior to Celebrity Homes, she worked for the Daily Express, Eve and edited Cosmopolitan spin-off Cosmo Hair.

She has also been a presenter on GMTV.

By Ruth Addicott

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