Question Time: Louise Court

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Work: editor of ‘Cosmopolitan’ since 2006

Life: Aged 48, lives with her partner and two sons

Balance: Watching her boys play football and holding a Crystal Palace season ticket

Last week you held the Cosmo Ultimate Women of the Year Awards. Who walked off with the top prize?

There is no overall winner. They celebrate woman – and men – with a fun, fearless attitude. The Editor’s Choice Award was to Josie Russell and Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall flew in to win our Ultimate Icon Award.

What keeps Cosmo at the top of its game, 36 years since the first issue?

It is unique – with 60 editions worldwide, its magic formula understands the psyche of women everywhere.

Which other magazines do you admire?

The UK newsstand is more competitive and cutthroat than ever. Every magazine team out there is working their socks off.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the media?

My dad and brother were both journalists. It turned out to be a bit of a family trade.

What was your first break?

Winning the East Grinstead Courier pancake race while a junior reporter – it was my first front page.

Are there any jobs you’d rather forget?

My week spent at the Surrey Mirror, where I was told: “Sorry, we only take high flyers.”

Who in the industry would you most like to work with?

I would have loved to have worked with the legendary Helen Gurley Brown when she was creating her blueprint for Cosmopolitan in 1965. At 86, she is still amazing to talk to.

What aspect of editing a magazine do you most enjoy?

I love every bit of hands-on editing, but especially working on covers.

Toughest assignment?

Trying to conduct an in-depth interview with Richard Branson on a busy tube train while writing shorthand notes.

In your two years as Cosmo editor, which issue has been your favourite?

It has to be the annual naked male centrefold issue – 18 chaps in the buff. Need I say more.