David Hepworth (born 27 July 1950) is a music journalist, writer and publishing industry analyst who has launched several successful British magazines. He was instrumental in the foundation of a number of highly popular magazines in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and a driving force behind "Smash Hits" in its 1980s heyday. He co-presented the BBC broadcast of Live Aid on 13 July 1985, goading Bob Geldof into asking viewers to send them their fucking money.
He was born in Dewsbury, West Riding of Yorkshire, and attended the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield and Trent Park College of Education. After, he worked for HMV and Beserkley Records, before becoming a freelance journalist.
His career in journalism began with contributions to NME and Sounds. He joined the newly launched Smash Hits magazine in 1979, and two years later, after turning it around financially, became its editor. In 1983 he launched Just Seventeen, a perennially popular magazine for teenage girls, and in 1984 Looks. Since then he has launched several other magazines, including Q (1986), More (1987), Empire (1988), Mojo (1993), Heat (1999) and The Word (2003). He is currently director of the publishing company Development Hell.
In the early 1980s he presented the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test and was one of the presenters covering Live Aid. On both of these he worked with long term friend Mark Ellen. Hepworth famously provoked Bob Geldof to repeatedly use the word "fuck" live on air. He remains the only person to have won both the Periodical Publishers Association's writer of the year and editor of the year award. Hepworth is featured in a podcast promoting the "Top of the Pops" boxset alongside Mark Goodier, Miles Leonard and Malcolm McClaren. He writes weekly for The Guardian and periodically for the UK trade magazine InPublishing.
- "The Secret History of Entertainment". London: Fourth Estate, 2010. ISBN 0-00-719011-5
- "Never a Dull Moment." New York: Henry Holt, 2016. ISBN 978-1-62779-399-5
- Dylan, Jones. "The Eighties: One Day, One Decade". Random House, 6 Jun 2013
- David Hepworth. The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2014
- "Old Grey Whistle Test to return to BBC". telegraph.co.uk, 06 Jul 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2014
- "The challenge for Live 8 and Geldof". CNN. 1 July 2005. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- "Live Aid Concert". Ovi Magazine. 13 July 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- "The Secret History of Entertainment". Harper Collins, 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2014
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