Donald MacInnes: As skeletons in closets go, mine are at least sort of photogenic

Donald confesses to a stint on a magazine with the ethical integrity of a hacked voicemail

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The Independent Online

Granted, it's a dreadfully personal question, but I nonetheless feel compelled to ask: do you have any skeletons in your wardrobe? Any cranium in your atrium? I only ask because I most certainly do. Not that I used to run a stable of fighting dogs out of my South-east London lock-up, although some people may well react to the following news as if that is the case.

No, my confession relates to some news which reached me the other day, confirming that lads' magazine Loaded is about to publish its last-ever issue. Yes, despite the fact that the magazine was relaunched last July with the intention of being "far more discerning and sophisticated" in its attitude to women, it seems Britain's young fellows have no room in their hearts or trousers for a magazine that harks back to the insufferably and self-consciously breast-obsessed 1990s.

Of course, Loaded is not the only totem of totty to collapse in the bright new morning of the 20-teens. Nuts, which differed from Loaded only in the sense that it was published weekly, has also swallowed its last pint of lager and told its last fart joke.

Anyway, to my confession. Despite my current high visibility within these libertarian, apolitical, non-bra-obsessed pages, I too have walked the Lad road in my quest to earn folding money and pay the rent. A few years ago, due to job cuts which resembled less a gentle separating-the-chaff-from-the-wheat process and more a bloodbath featuring innocent journalists being lobbed headfirst into an industrial woodchipper, I was made redundant from my post on another Fleet Street newspaper. Thankfully, as I had been working there for a good few years, my pay-off was reasonable. Reasonable enough, in fact, to allow me to take some time off and work on other creative projects. This was towering fun for, ooh, about six months, but then the money ran out and I was forced to look for work.

My first port of call was Zoo, a weekly magazine with all the ethical integrity of a hacked voicemail. Happily, I knew the editor from a previous job and he just so happened to be on the lookout for someone with my particular skills (two of the most obvious being the ability to tell a decent knob gag and get a round in before being asked).

There began a year of genuine oddness, which I will document in these pages in future. Suffice to say that it became quite normal to walk into a conference room and find a fleshy glamour model having her armpits spray-tanned.

And while it would be nice to think that these types of magazines are going out of business because young men no longer feel the need to, well, feel the need, I suspect their demise has more to do with the internet being free. Why pay £2 for reasonably chaste pictures of soap stars in their pants when you can log on to and see The Full Bunty, for nothing?

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