BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Wednesday, 22 November, 2000, 17:48 GMT
Northern & Shell wins Express race
Richard Desmond with his new titles
OK! publisher Richard Desmond with his new titles
The publisher buying Express Newspapers has media interests that span from soft-porn magazines to celebrity gossip.

Richard Desmond publishes a mix of titles through Northern & Shell and its sister company Portland Investments.

Its flagship title is celebrity gossip magazine OK!, which is said to have paid 1m for pictures of Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas's wedding.

But the private company's principal source of revenue is porn titles, which include such magazines as Penthouse and Asian Babes.

Cloakroom days

Born in London in 1951, Richard Desmond left school at 13 to become a cloakroom attendant.

He spent much of his early career selling advertising.

Mr Desmond's first publishing venture, International Musician, was launched in 1974.

In 1983, he did a deal with the publisher of Penthouse, agreeing to produce a British edition.

His interests also include television, where he markets the Fantasy Channel, which he set up in 1995.

He launched OK! in 1993, as a rival to then market leader Hello.

Exclusive

Paying high prices for exclusive celebrity pictures such as the Zeta Jones and Douglas wedding helped OK! become the market leader.

While Mr Desmond may have no experience of running a national newspaper, he has plenty of experience of making money from publishing.

Moving into the business has proved to be very profitable for Mr Desmond, netting him a place in the Sunday Times Rich List.

He is now expected to float Northern & Shell, a move which could value the company at 500m.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

22 Nov 00 | Business
OK! owner buys Express
22 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Zeta Jones bans Hello! pics
Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories