Martin Daubney: My Life In Media

'I'd probably be in the clink if I didn't do this'
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The Independent Online

As the editor of Loaded, Martin Daubney has displayed a flair for the controversial. The Vatican tried to sue over a doctored picture of the Pope with a pint of ale, and animal rights activists fumed over a feature about shooting radioactive wolves in Chernobyl. He is also the man who used a remote-controlled helicopter to ferry hamburgers to David Blaine's Perspex cage at Tower Bridge.

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

I really got into writing postcards when I went travelling after university. When all you've got to do all day is take drugs, booze and write, it takes on a massive significance. From that day on I vowed to forge a career doing just that. In that respect, I guess you could say things have turned out nice.

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

Being a coal miner, my old man was a full-on Daily Mirror bloke. I liked its militant attitude. Like many working-class fellas made good, he later switched to the Mail. I keep trying to talk him out of it, but he's having none of it.

What were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

I was always a Tiswas man. I loved its anarchy and, like most confused kids, fancied Sally James. Hats off to Noel Edmonds for turning his career around now, but back in those days Tiswas beat Swap Shop hands down.

Describe your job

Turn up, shout some, go to pub, come up with ideas, come back, shout some more, go to pub, sleep. Repeat.

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

Always Sky News: it's made BBC news redundant. Eamonn Holmes, he just cheers me up no end - he laughs about things like shark attack stories. And if I get tucked into an episode of the Jeremy Kyle Show, I can be an hour late for work. Why Kyle isn't on prime time is beyond me.

Do you consult any media sources during the day?

I'm probably meant to say Economist, Spectator, etc, but the truth is I read all the tabloids, Pick Me Up, Angling Times, MCN and Viz, which still really delivers for me.

What is the best thing about your job?

I get total creative freedom. There's a real satisfaction knowing that my magazine is produced with passion, guts and instinct rather than endless market research. Working with funny people means I miss work when I'm not here. Holidays get in the way.

And the worst?

I'd be a mug and a ponce to moan about anything. It's far easier than digging coal, and moaning media luvvies would do well to remember that.

How do you feel you influence the media?

Well, they always love to slag men's mags off, so it gives lazy critics an easy column, I guess.

What's the proudest achievement of your working life?

Bagging the Loaded editor's job. I still think it's the best gig in men's mags. I've just made it through as the longest-serving Loaded editor. I've now been here longer than James Brown, which feels sweet. Winning New Editor Of The Year in 2004 was nice, too.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

When the Sunday Mirror did a full-page story saying that I'd shagged George Best's wife, Alex. He smashed up her house and motor, then went on a massive bender that saw him get arrested after two whores lifted his wallet. The News of the World - old colleagues of mine - told me they'd got me stitched like a kipper. Paparazzi were camped outside the office, so I got drunk and slept here for the weekend. The People tried to sting me for knocking up Abi Titmuss as well but I showed them a clean pair of heels. It was made up.

At home, what do you tune in to?

I like telly that's the opposite of Loaded's madness. I'm a Countryfile nut - Craven's still got it - and I'm mad for the Discovery channel. Saxondale's always a home run on the old Sky+ if I've had a few.

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

News of the World. It's still the best by miles, but then I'm biased after spending two years there. And my guilty pleasure is the Sunday Times Style supplement. It's so magnificently pompous, it's unmissable. Mag-wise I adore Classic Bike. It's distilled passion, done with full-on pride.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire.

I just always wanted to be Loaded editor.

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

I'd probably be in the clink.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Andy Coulson, editor of the News of the World. He's an inspirational bloke.

The CV

1995 Lands first job as a researcher for Bella

1997 Promoted to commissioning editor

1997 Appointed features editor of FHM

DECEMBER 1998 Leaves FHM to edit Project Champion, new men's magazine

FEBRUARY 2000 Launch editor of with Andy Coulson, which is soon the UK's No 1 men's lifestyle website

FEBRUARY 2001 Moves to News of the World to write 'Sin Bin' column

FEBRUARY 2003 Appointed deputy editor of Loaded

SEPTEMBER 2003 Becomes editor of Loaded