Johnson scoops editor of the year at BSME awards

Boris Johnson, centre, with comedian Jack Dee and Rachel Shattock


The Spectator’s Boris Johnson has been named editors’ editor of the year at the 2003 British Society of Magazine Editors awards. Mark Ellen, editor of Word, picked up the prestigious Mark Boxer Award for his contribution to the industry.

Johnson dedicated the award to his team. He told Press Gazette: “It’s a great honour but completely ludicrous because it should go to everybody else.

I’m like one of those features of ancient cosmology where the turtle is supported by four elephants. I’m the turtle and they are the elephants.

“The editor of Heat told me he’d gone from a 60,000 starting sale to more than 500,000. I am lost in awe of the achievements of some of these people. We agreed to discuss how to do this on The Spectator with lots of naked women and celebrities.”

Johnson thanked everyone who voted for him “from the bottom of my heart and urge them to subscribe without delay”.

Ellen, whose achievements include being founding editor of Q, Smash Hits, J17 and Mojo and overseeing the relaunch of FHM, said: “It’s fantastic. I wanted to put Word in for launch of the year but David [Hepworth] said, ‘It’s £68, we’re a small, independent company; we can’t afford it.’ I said, ‘It’s only £68,’ and he said, ‘Yes, but we’d have to pay for a whole table’, and we had a big argument. I had no idea I was going to win.”

The other winning editors were: business and professional magazines (non-weekly): Amanda Baillieu, Riba Journal; business and professional magazines (weekly): Adrian Barrick, Building; entertainment magazines: Gill Hudson, Radio Times; contract magazines (business): Morice Mendoza, RSA Journal; contract magazines (consumer): Sam Upton, Army; general interest and current affairs: Emma Soames, Saga; lifestyle: Sarah Miller, Condé Nast Traveller; men’s: Simon Tiffin, Esquire; newspaper magazines: Gill Morgan, The Times Magazine; special interest: Allan Jones, Uncut; women’s (non-weekly): Trish Halpin, Red; women’s (weekly): John Dale, Take A Break; youth and children’s magazines, comics or fanzines: Celia Duncan, CosmoGirl!; magazine websites: Abigail Chisman,

The award for launch of the year went to Michael Jacovides, editor of Carlos. Cosmopolitan editor Lorraine Candy won the innovation of the year award for Cosmo’s Rapestoppers campaign.

The Fiona Macpherson new editor of the year award went to Jane Johnson of Closer.

The winners were announced at an awards dinner on Monday night, hosted by BSME chairwoman Rachel Shattock and comedian Jack Dee.

By Ruth Addicott

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