A big 'Hello!' to the boys

You may think it just a frivolous girly pastime, but celebrity trivia traps men too, says Ann Treneman

Share
Related Topics
Real men do read Hello! in public. Just ask Adrian Dixon. He's 27 and not afraid to admit to a glance at the great and glamorous. "Besides, everyone else would probably be trying to read it over my shoulder," he says.

This week the Great Gazza Wedding issue hits the newsstands. If you don't know what that is then you must have been out of the country when Paul Gascoigne and Sheryl Failes tied the knot. It's an exclusive like they used to do them, with a reputed pounds 150,000 changing hands to make it worth the couple's while.

British Airways now stocks Hello! in first class and club class, but not for the proles in economy - 60 per cent of its half-million readers are ABC1s.

Launched in the UK in 1988 with Princess Anne on the cover, Hello! has become an adjective in its own right and copy-cat exclamation points are springing up like stigmata at Easter. Wannabes include Here! That's Life! and OK!, which last week was running a Baywatch babe and baby exclusive.

But Hello! is way out front. It has its own curse (the latest victim is Margot Hemingway, featured before her death looking too happy to be true) and its own inimitable "news" judgement. Who else would realise that what we really need to know is that Donald and Marla Trump have given their toddler Tiffany a "proper garden", by lifting 30 tons of soil to the top of the Trump Tower in Manhattan? Or that "intelligent" people would find themselves looking at all four photographs of heiress Tamara Beckwith ("the fiancee of actress Sharon Stone's brother") running out of petrol in Knightsbridge.

"We're almost an institution these days. For instance, people talk about a Hello!-style wedding," says Hello! publishing director Sally Cartwright.

One commuter, reading the New Scientist, said: "If it was next to me on the train, I would not be ashamed to read it." What he didn't say was that he couldn't stop himself from picking it up. "There are people who are addicted to light relief," says Ms Cartwright. People seem to view Hello! in the same category as chocolate; they speak of it as a luxury."

But it has yet to achieve the ultimate triumph - a cover declaring: "The Queen and Prince Philip invite us into their lovely home to share their sorrows and speak of putting family difficulties behind them." What reader, even of the Independent, could resist that?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teacher

£36000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: Experienced SEN Teacher n...

Volunteer Mentor for people who have offended

This is an unpaid volunteer role. : Belong: We are looking for volunteers who ...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: Experienced TA's urgently...

Business StudiesTeacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Supply Business Studies Teacher...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Cameron’s speech, his place in history, and the Pedant Club

John Rentoul
 

Why Facebook won't be feeling threatened by Ello...yet

Ed Rex
Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?