Desmond takes 'OK!' to TV audiences

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The Independent Online

Richard Desmond will begin the cross-platform promotion of his media brands next month when he launches OKTV! on his television network Five.

It is anticipated that the initiative, which begins on 14 February, will offer presenting opportunities for the magazine's columnists, including Alex Curran, wife of footballer Steven Gerrard, the Girls Aloud pop singer Kimberley Walsh and reality show star Kerry Katona.

A video format of the weekly magazine already exists in the form of low-budget OKTV! videos produced for the OK! website, largely comprising snatched interviews at film premieres and launch parties.

Although the media mogul had been expected to take advantage of cross-promotional opportunities after his acquisition of the television network last year, his previous attempt to transform OK! into a television brand a decade ago was a failure. Mr Desmond withdrew OKTV! from ITV after a single series in 2000 after sales of the magazine went into decline.

But he has decided to try again, with OKTV! replacing the disastrous early evening magazine show, Live From Studio Five, presented by Kate Walsh and Jayne Middlemiss.