My Life In Media: Gill Hudson

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The Independent Online

Gill Hudson, 49, is the editor of 'Radio Times' and a veteran magazine-launcher, including 'Maxim'. She lives in London with her ten-year-old daughter and has little time for hobbies, apart from the gym.

Gill Hudson, 49, is the editor of 'Radio Times' and a veteran magazine-launcher, including 'Maxim'. She lives in London with her ten-year-old daughter and has little time for hobbies, apart from the gym.

So what inspired you to start a career in the media?

A careers adviser said a good yardstick for the job you should be doing is to think back to when you were about six or seven. I was making little magazines, writing them all out by hand. The print run was about six, and I flogged them in the playground.

Cast your mind back to when you were 15. What was the family newspaper and did you read it?

My parents got the Telegraph. I didn't really read it. It looked very boring.

And what were your favourite radio and television programmes?

I was absolutely enchanted by big historical dramas.

What is the best thing about your job?

I have the best team out of all the magazines I've edited.

And the worst?

Weeklies are absolutely relentless. If you're ill, too bad, it still comes out.

What's the first media you turn to in the mornings?

I have the Today programme on and I graze through about eight channels on the radio on the way to work.

You've arrived at the office. Will you be consulting any media sources during the day?

All the newspapers and magazines, and we have a TV on in the background.

What is the best achievement of your working life?

I found it very exciting launching Maxim.

And your most embarrassing moment?

I'd been told the editor was new to the job, and so in an interview for the now-defunct Woman's World magazine not a page of the magazine was left untouched by my brilliant and devastating analysis. When I finally finished, she hissed: "I can't stand people like you. You think you know it all." Remember: words can mean different things to different people. The person who told me that the editor was "new" meant new as in "has been editing it for two years".

Now you're back home. What will you tune in to?

If I'm having a night in, I'll listen to science programmes on the radio or The World Tonight.

At the weekends, what is your Sunday paper and do you have any favourite magazines?

Usually The Sunday Times. Whatever I haven't read in an hour, I don't, because I have a life. The Week by Dennis Publishing is a must-read for me.

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

I don't think about stuff like that. I really work in the moment, and whenever I do that things just happen.

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

I would have been a doctor because I'm genuinely interested in health.

Who are your best friends in the media?

There are a lot of Emap or ex-Emap people: Simon Kippin, Nicholas Coleridge, and Dave Hepworth and Mark Ellen who do Word magazine together. There are people on the Radio Times who will always be mates.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Maggie Goodman at Company was the one who really brought it home to me that you could be a nice person but a good editor. Felix Dennis is hugely influential, the most inspiring guy.


1977: Enters the media world photocopying manuscripts at Weidenfeld & Nicholson.

1981: First editing job on Home & Country, followed by Oracle Teletext and Cook's Weekly.

1987: Makes her mark on women's glossy territory as deputy and then editor of Natmags' Company.

1990: Editor of New Woman at Emap.

1994-1999: Launched Maxim, then Stuff and Ministry magazines.

1997: Wins BSME Men's Magazine Editor of the Year for Maxim.

1999: Launched BBC's Eve magazine.

2002: A brief spell as BBC magazines development director before being appointed Radio Times' editor.

2003: Wins BSME Entertainments Magazine Editor.