Cut from a different cloth

A new weekly lads' mag hopes to attract readers with humour rather than bikini-clad babes. But does it stand a chance in an overcrowded market?

For a "bloke's magazine" to select a balding 56-year-old man as the cover star for its launch issue and not follow the vogue for bikini-wearing babes could be regarded as a decision tantamount to commercial suicide.

Nevertheless Simon Geller, Cut's editor, chose a grinning Sven Goran Eriksson as the first face of the latest entry into the burgeoning men's weekly magazine market.

Geller claims female flesh will not be Cut's primary selling point which makes it a revolutionary concept among men's magazines. "I would say we have less women than any men's magazine, weekly or monthly, that you will find on any newsagent's shelf," he says.

A flick through Cut doesn't wholly bear this out, with features like "TV Totty" and a "Sex Quiz". But Geller draws a distinction. "Our attitude to the sexual content is that it's comedy. It's fun to look at and it makes you laugh. With the others, it's not actually comedy, it's phwooar," he says, whilst conceding that, "it would be an extremely reckless publisher that ever brings out a magazine for men that doesn't have a sexual content."

His words have a familiar ring. Seven months ago, when Nuts and Zoo - Cut's rivals - burst on to the news-stands, Mike Soutar, the editorial director at Nuts's publishers IPC, claimed that Nuts would steer clear of sleaze because its readers would not want such material in the family home. But the latest Nuts (so far a soaraway success with sales of 290,000 a week) is a "Jenna Jameson Sex Special", with a free booklet on the cover girl's "sex tips".

According to Geller, who is a former editor of Men's Health and the women's weekly Me, the readers of Nuts and Emap's Zoo (sales of 200,000) have turned out to be much younger than originally anticipated. "I was talking to a schoolteacher friend and he said all his kids were reading them," he claims.

Cut, which is published by H Bauer, has been nearly 18 months in the planning. It would have come out in January but held back in the face of the £16m combined launch budget of its two rivals.

For months, Geller's 22-strong team were putting out weekly dummies, realising the vision that he had when reading the Dennis Publishing news-based magazine The Week, which is intended to be a compilation of the best writing and stories from other publications. Geller's view was that although The Week was "addictive" it lacked something visually and fell short in areas like sport and humour. His original pitch was for "a cross between The Week and FHM", but that was an oversimplification of what Cut has become.

The magazine trawls every publication from Fortean Times to What Video & Widescreen TV in order to find the best material for blokey pub banter.

Cut journalists - several of whom have been recruited from national newspapers - wade through 14 car magazines, seven television magazines and scores of newspapers. They will only feature items or stories if they can provide three or more diverse sources and opinions, Geller says. It is more than just lifting ideas, he argues, claiming that the skill of his hard-working staff is in the original and humorous presentation of the material they adopt.

Some of the content is innovative - such as an obituaries column, which features the likes of the late spandex-wearing New York Dolls bass player Arthur "Killer" Kane. Other bits are crass. The battle for Najaf is described thus: "Iraq kicks off again - Yanks battle Shiite nutters with big guns."

Cut's rivals have written the magazine off already. Tim Brooks, the managing director of IPC Ignite! - the division which oversees men's lifestyle magazines - celebrated Nuts's first ABC figures by saying: "Today has been a great day for two reasons: first, Nuts has become the biggest selling men's magazine in the UK; and second, I've just seen the first issue of Cut."

Much of the negative comment has centred on the production values of the new magazine and Geller concedes that the paper is only of a similar quality to a "TV listings magazine".

But he says the readers will not mind. He contends that high-quality paper is only demanded by advertisers (Cut only has three ads per issue). "I don't think the consumer gives a monkey's," he says.

As for the nudity, Geller appears to be sticking to his guns with his second issue. Instead of a girl with her kit off, he has plumped for Michael Owen with his new Real Madrid kit on.

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
books
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Head of Marketing (Online & Offline, Media, Digital, Strategy)

£85000 - £100000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing - Slough, Berkshi...

Administration Assistant / Office Assistant

£18 - 20k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An Administration Assistant / Office Assistan...

Day In a Page

Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference