My Mentor: Julian Linley on Mark Frith

'when a story came in he would digest it and break it down into 'Heat' language'

Mark Frith and Jo Elvin have been equally important in my career. Without Jo, who gave me my first ever job, I doubt I would be a journalist at all, but it was working with Mark Frith on Heat that really shaped me.

Back in 2000, everyone was talking about the fact Heat was going to fold, so I was really confused why I was being asked to work there. I tried to sabotage the interview by inventing a new section called "Star Style" which would be full of hair and make up and beauty products: everything Heat wasn't.

Mark and I clicked instantly and I got the job as features editor. At first my remit was to make the magazine more female-friendly, which I did with features like "How orange are they really?" and "How old are they really?" Mark was incredibly encouraging and an amazing leader. He had a very clear vision and when a story came in he would digest it, break it down into Heat language and the team delivered it.

The re-launch issue jumped a lot from the 40,000 we had been selling, and when we introduced Victoria Beckham a few weeks later it sold well over 100,000.

I was made deputy editor after six months and our working relationship really started to motor. Watching him that closely was the best training I could get, and we shared a sense of humour and love of Stock, Aitken & Waterman.

Leaving to go and edit First was a difficult decision but I had my own ambitions, and if I had a problem there I would always call Mark and ask his opinion. When I said I wasn't enjoying it, he got me back in to launch the Heat website. I was gutted when he announced he was leaving but I inherited his staff and his way of working and often speak to him about that, but usually our chats have little to do with Heat.

I read his book, The Celeb Diaries, in two hours. It was an amazing walk down memory lane and Mark was very generous with what he said about me. Heat was absolutely his story and other editors might not have credited the other people who were there.

Julian Linley is the editor of Heat magazine.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Sauce Recruitment: New Media Marketing Manager - EMEA - Digital Distribution

£35000 - £45000 per annum + up to £45,000: Sauce Recruitment: The Internation...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing / PR / Social Media Executive

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A thriving online media busines...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower