Diet of celebs helps Closer sales to soar 43pc in a year

Closer was the fastest growing title in the women’s weekly sector – up 43.5 per cent year on year and a further 24.7 per cent period on period to 480,187, Editor Jane Johnson put its success down to celebrity and human interest stories, and its diet. “We put EastEnders star Charlie Brooks on the cover when she lost a stone and a half on the Closer diet and consistently broke stories on Sadie and Jude,” she said.

Closer’s increase reflects the rapid growth of Now and Heat, which also reported successive double digit rises in previous ABC. The arrival of new entrants has since affected both.

Now held its position as the UK’s biggest selling celebrity magazine with an ABC of 580,007, despite competition from Richard Desmond’s cut price rival New!.

Now recently celebrated a 650,000 sale – its highest to date.

Spin-off Teen Now is believed to have sold over 100,000. New! was up 19.1 per cent year on year to 403,864 – undercutting rivals with a cover price of 50p.

Heat was down 4.4 per cent to 540,556. OK! was up 13.2 per cent to 553,777 under its new editor Lisa Palta and Hello! showed a rise of 4 per cent to 361,225.

IPC’s Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman’s Weekly reported a decline, Bella was up 4.3 per cent and Best reported a loss of 3.1 per cent on the previous year.

Take a Break still has a clear lead over the rest of the market, selling 1.2m copies. Its closest competitor Chat gained 5.4 per cent year on year to 606,599 and That’s Life sold 573,966.

Chat editor June Smith Sheppard said she was thrilled with the result as the team had spent the last six months “up to their necks in exploding stomachs, decapitations and ugly husbands”.

By Ruth Addicott

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