Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - Hello! refocuses with shift to ‘up-market’ format

In its heyday, Hello! magazine was synonymous with the latest gossip from the lives of Wags and reality television stars.

Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - 5 September

Hello! refocuses with shift to ‘up-market’ format

In its heyday, Hello! magazine was synonymous with the latest gossip from the lives of Wags and reality television stars.

However, amid falling circulation and the continued fallout from the Leveson Inquiry, the publication has this week announced a change of direction. It will be dropping its rivalry against long standing celeb magazine OK! in favour of moving towards becoming a lifestyle magazine in the same vein as up-market women’s weeklies Grazia and Stylist.

The change was announced by publishing director Charlotte Stockting in a letter to the Audit Bureau of Circulation women’s lifestyle and fashion sector.

Ms Stockting writes: “It reflects a move away from the celebrity sector, and its obsession with made-up stories, scurrilous gossip, poor production values, real-life stories and low cover prices.”

Recent ABC data showed the UK edition of Hello! had suffered a 14.6 per cent drop in circulation in the first half of the year – this is far higher than the average fall in the lifestyle sector , which was 5.1 per cent.

The recent Leveson Inquiry into media standards has raised questions about the intrusive coverage of celebrities by journalists. However Roger Williams, associate publisher, circulation and distribution, for Hello! told The Independent that the magazine had never been part of that culture.

“A lot of people perceive the celebrity magazine sector as being on the outside looking in, with long-range intrusive photographs. But our magazine has always been about people inviting us into their homes.”

Stories on their website today including “Pippa turns Park Avenue princess for the US Open”, “Michelle: I love Barack more than I did 4 years ago” and “How can Kate look totally tropical on Jubilee tour?” indicate that the brand is not ditching celebrities altogether. It is likely that the future focus of Hello! coverage will be on Hollywood A-listers, politicians and the royals.

Questions for discussion

For primary:

  • Why do you think people like to read magazines about celebrities
  • Are there any celebrities you admire? What do you admire about them?

For secondary:

  • Do you think that celebrities deserve some privacy? Or did they give up the right to a private life when they became famous?
  • Is our society too obsessed with celebrity?

Related resources


  • Get students to research and explore the cult of celebrity with this drama scheme of work.

Celebs: Us and them

  • From attachment to eating disorders, this study guide explains the psychology of celebrity appeal.

In the camera’s eye

  • Should celebrities have a right to privacy? Join the debate with this role play lesson.

Glamour, fame, obsession

  • Why are we so fascinated with celebrities? Explore in this media assembly.

Further news resources

First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide.

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

In the news this week

David Laws has been appointed education minister in the first major reshuffle for the Coalition government since the general election of 2010.

Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has apologised for the timing of controversial comments made about the winner of his 200m race.

The GB paralympic team bagged two gold medals on the first day of competition.

A talented team of pupils are set to mix studies with slam dunks next term as they tour Eastern Europe competing against some of the best players in the world.

In the news archive index