Lisa Helmanis: My Life In Media

'I put on the iPod and try to forecast my day psychically. If it's Johnny Cash I know I'll be wading through invoices'

Lisa Helmanis, 32, is editor of the new 'Sunday Times Inside Out' interiors magazine, the second launch by Rupert Murdoch's News Magazines publishing arm. She loves a good old ramble, verbal and on foot, riding her scooter round town trying not to get knocked off and losing at pool with her friends and infidels. She is single and lives in East Dulwich.

What inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

I studied fine art at Goldsmiths College thinking I would live on the Parisian Left Bank and brood attractively until my genius was lauded internationally. Then I woke up one morning and realised my post-college career was actually waitressing. Writing was my only other great passion so I combined that with my visual sensibilities by completing a postgraduate in periodical journalism at the London College of Printing.

When you were 15, which newspaper did your family get and did you read it?

I used to go to my nana's house (epicentre of the universe) with my cousins for my dinner and general lounging about, eating bacon sandwiches in shifts and squabbling. While we were there, we used to take turns to pass around my grandad's copy of the Daily Mirror; by the last cousin there was more newsprint on the family than the pages.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

I liked to be earnest listening to John Peel on Radio 1 and later enjoyed him on Radio 4. And I think I was probably still watching Grange Hill in secret trying to work out my confused adolescent feelings.

Describe your job

Relentless and wonderful; rarely does anyone get the chance to launch something new, but to do it as part whole new magazine division, with the backing of a giant like News International means we do things differently on every front, yet still feel supported.

What media do you turn to first thing in the morning?

Radio 4, but if I'm feeling sluggish I put on the iPod and try to forecast my day psychically. If it's Johnny Cash I know I'll have to wade through a pile of invoices; if it's "Push It" by Salt-n-Pepa, I know it's going to be a good day.

Do you consult any media sources during the working day?

I constantly ask my deputy editor Clare how my hair looks and whose turn it is to make the tea.

What is the best thing about your job?

Having a fantastically talented team that is passionate about the magazine as consumers as well as creators, which lets you know you're getting it right. And working for a management team willing to take risks and commit to excellence. So many people play it safe or are derivative to the detriment of the end result.

And the worst?

Not living in Toronto. I moved back from Canada where I was hosting a show for Alliance Atlantis to work on Inside Out and even now I think I'll open my blinds and see the CN Tower.

What's the proudest achievement in your working life?

My first real pay cheque for writing; it still feels like a fantastic cheat to get to do what you want with your life and get paid for it.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

Presenting my first issue of Inside Out to John Witherow, the editor of The Sunday Times, with a green head. I was knocked off my scooter on the way to work in our final press week so had to battle in regardless. When the right side of your head has doubled in size and is bruised like a rotten melon, there seems little point in putting on make-up.

At home, what do you tune in to?

I'm a big reader so I'm more likely to kick back with a book, but I adore the car-crash television that is Wife Swap. And I love Paramount Comedy reruns, especially when I've seen them before as I need to think even less. Finally I like to fall asleep to Newsnight, but it means I'm only half-informed.

What is your Sunday paper? And do you have a favourite magazine?

The Sunday Times and The Observer. I'm also a magpie for information so I read Psychology Today, Business Week and Mental Floss from Canada. The features desk always pretends to be on the phone when I wander over looking as if I'm about to impart yet more "riveting" facts.

Name one career ambition you want to realise before your retire?

I have two ambitions. I'd love to help make all printed matter run on 100 per cent recycled paper, and get more books into the hands of kids. I can't stress how much books transformed my expectations and enriched my world.

If you didn't work in the media what would you do?

I like to think I'd be a potter or ceramist in a converted barn. In reality I'd probably go mad with the isolation of a studio and really make my living entering competitions full time. Seriously, I've done some scriptwriting so would probably end up there.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Oprah Winfrey. She never let the word "no" stop her and despite operating in a wide range of media disciplines, each new venture is innovative and polished.

The CV

1992 Goldsmiths College and London College of Printing.

1997 PA to editor of Zest magazine.

1998Brides magazine lifestyle editor.

2000Living Etc lifestyle editor.

2001 lifestyle editor of She magazine.

2003 Freelance journalist and broadcaster, including creating the dummy for Inside Out.

2004 Presenter and scriptwriter at Alliance Atlantis, a production and distribution company based in Toronto.

2005 Returned to London to launch 'Inside Out' as Editor.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
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

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Recruitment Resourcer / Recruitment Account Manager

£20 - 25k + Bonus: Guru Careers: Are you a Recruitment Consultant looking to m...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin (based in London)

£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power