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 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: 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...

Guru Careers: Business Analyst / Digital Business Analyst

£50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Analyst / Digital Bus...

Guru Careers: Business Development Manager / Sales

£30 - 40k (£65k Y1 OTE Uncapped): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Deve...

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