David Hepworth

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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 popular magazines in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and with Mark Ellen turned the 1980s English pop magazine "Smash Hits" into one of the most popular magazines of its era.

Hepworth co-presented the BBC broadcast of Live Aid on 13 July 1985, when he was the presenter told by Bob Geldof to "fuck the address" when pleading with viewers to send in their "fucking money".[1][2][3]

Early life[edit]

David Hepworth 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.[4]

In the early 1980s he presented the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test[5] and was one of the presenters covering Live Aid.[6] 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.[7] 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 McLaren. He writes weekly for The Guardian and periodically for the UK trade magazine InPublishing.


  • Hepworth, David (2010). The Secret History of Entertainment. London: Fourth Estate. ISBN 0007190115.
  • Hepworth, David (2016). 1971 - Never a Dull Moment: Rock's Golden Year. London: Bantam Press. ISBN 0593074874. Published in the United States as Never a Dull Moment: 1971 - The Year That Rock Exploded. New York: Henry Holt. 2016. ISBN 9781627793995.
  • Hepworth, David (2017). Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Star. London: Bantam Press. ISBN 9780593077627.


  1. ^ Dylan, Jones. "The Eighties: One Day, One Decade". Random House, 6 Jun 2013
  2. ^ "Live Aid and false memory syndrome". whatsheonaboutnow.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  3. ^ ScallywagsTV2 (2015-04-17), 80's Scandals - Bob Geldof swears at Live aid., retrieved 2017-10-12
  4. ^ David Hepworth. The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2014
  5. ^ "Old Grey Whistle Test to return to BBC". telegraph.co.uk, 06 Jul 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2014
  6. ^ "The challenge for Live 8 and Geldof". CNN. 1 July 2005. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Live Aid Concert". Ovi Magazine. 13 July 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.

External links[edit]