Ritz Newspaper

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Ritz Newspaper
Ritz Newspaper Masthead
Co-editorDavid Bailey, David Litchfield
Categoriesfashion, gossip and celebrity
PublisherDavid Bailey, David Litchfield
First issueDecember 1976
Final issue1997
CompanyBailey Litchfield Productions Ltd
CountryUnited Kingdom

Ritz Newspaper, colloquially Ritz Magazine, sometimes simply Ritz, was a British magazine focusing on gossip, celebrity and fashion.[1] It was launched in 1976 by David Bailey and David Litchfield, who acted as co-editors. The magazine folded in 1997.[2]


The first issue of Ritz was published in December 1976.[3] Published on newsprint and described by Litchfield as "the Lou Reed of publishing", it sold 25,000 copies a month at its peak in 1981.[1] It ran for fifteen years, though at the beginning of the 1990s it lost readership to glossy titles such as Tatler. It closed temporarily in 1983[3] and in October 1988.[1] Redesigned in A4 format on matte art stock paper by art director Tony Judge, it relaunched early in 1989 with funding from the property developer Neville Roberts,[1] finally closing in 1997.


Cover of issue 15 featuring Jordan

The founder gossip columnists covering the London social scene were Nicholas Haslam,[4] Frances Lynn,[5][6] Stephen Lavers and Amanda Lear.

Haslam, an Old Etonian society decorator, wrote about his British aristocratic and Hollywood movie star friends under the pen name Paul Parsons. Lynn wrote the 'Bitch' gossip column about café society. Lavers, who moonlighted as Head of Films at A&M Records was the Music and Media columnist. Lear gossiped about the international glitterati. Lavers[7] and Lear[8] even interviewed each other. Richard Young[9][10] was initially hired as Lynn's photographer, but eventually took photographs for all the columns. The four gossip columnists sometimes attended the same parties and wrote about each other. Haslam invited Lynn to all the parties he organised for his celebrity friends like Andy Warhol,[11] so that she could report about them in her column.

Film producer Cat Villiers [12] (then known as Catkin Villiers) began her career on the staff of the periodical.

Although Ritz Newspaper's policy was to avoid paying their contributing editors, including photojournalist Clement Barclay, established writers like Clive James[13] and Peter York[14] contributed to the magazine, as occasionally did established pop and rock stars such as George Michael.[15]


Ritz Newspaper was a showcase for fashion photography. David Bailey took the pictures. His wife, Marie Helvin,[16] and other celebrity fashion models modelled, and Patrick Lichfield[17] and other top photographers, worked for Ritz.


The majority of the celebrity interviews were in question and answer format, and included David Cassidy[15] (interviewed by George Michael), Sammy Davis, Jr.,[18] Gore Vidal,[19] Paul McCartney[20] and Frank Zappa.[5]


Ritz Newspaper specialised in celebrity advertising campaigns. Olympus Cameras,[21] Leonard[22] the society hairdresser, and Manolo Blahnik[23] all took out regular campaigns. Schumi[24] advertised in every issue of Ritz, except for the first issue.


  1. ^ a b c d Puttin' on the Ritz again, Andrew Lycett, Media & Marketing, The Times, London, 31 May 1989
  2. ^ "Ritz Newspaper Mission Statement". David L. Litchfield. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b Dylan Jones (6 June 2013). The Eighties: One Day, One Decade. Random House. p. 186. ISBN 978-1-4090-5225-8. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  4. ^ Barrow Andrew (21 March 2004). "Nicky Haslam: Party monster". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 10 January 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2007. In the 1970s he was Paul Parsons in Ritz and Sam Hopper in Vogue. Today, his playful, punning, name- and place-dropping pieces appear in a variety of newspapers and magazines; he also files erudite book reviews for Literary Review and The Spectator, in which he often also writes the diary. Wherever possible, these informative bits of journalism are accompanied by a winking, leering, picture of Haslam himself.
  5. ^ a b "Ritz Newspaper, UK, "British monthly 80's fashion magazine with good long interviews"". Afka. January 1983. Retrieved 7 December 2007.
  6. ^ Barry Fantoni. "Ritzy Lynne". Evening News. Francis Lynne (Franny to the few friends she has left) wins my accolade as the bitchiest gossip writer in town. As high-priestess of the single-entendre, she has assassinated everybody who is anybody in her two-page column in the bi-monthly magazine, Ritz. Her list of victims includes people like Elkie brooks, Roman Polanski, Diana Rigg, Yves St. Laurent, Elton John and The Eagles. I would like to give some examples of her killing technique - but I can't in case I get into trouble. Asked if she had, in fact, received any writs lately she replied demurely: "Of course not. In a more familiar vein, she added: 'If I had, I wouldn't tell you, dahling."
  7. ^ Lavers Stephen (1978). "Amanda Lear and Stephen Lavers". Ritz Newspaper No. 15. Bailey & Litchfield. Perhaps you should be killed in a car crash soon .
  8. ^ Lear Amanda (1978). "Amanda Lear and Stephen Lavers". Ritz Newspaper No. 015. Bailey & Litchfield. When I wrote for Ritz I knew exactly what they wanted. People want to read a lot of gossip that is as evil as you dare print it about famous or infamous, or slightly notorious people around London.
  9. ^ "Feature: The changing face of celebrity". Times Online. Style. London. 9 May 2004. Retrieved 13 December 2007. When Young sold his first celebrity photograph (of Paul Getty Jr) in 1974, newspapers didn't want celebrity photographers, because they didn't think their readers wanted celebrities. Wild rock'n'roll parties held by the Beatles and the Stones mostly went unrecorded. "It's a crying shame," says Young now, "because there'd have been great stuff to shoot then. Those parties were wild." It took the photographer David Bailey and his writer friend David Litchfield, founders of the magazine Ritz, to invent celebrity publishing. The magazine was full of society figures, of parties and launches, and Young was their "social photographer" from the mid-1970s up until 1983. The celebrity world as we know it now was beginning. And Young had a front-row position.[dead link]
  10. ^ Deedes Henry (21 August 2007). "Andrew Leeman: The man who put Mayfair on the menu". The Independent. Archived from the original on 6 December 2007. Retrieved 8 December 2007. It was a crazy time," says Young. "I was working for David Bailey's magazine Ritz back then, which led the way on coverage of the London social scene. David was using the bar there like an office so I was always in there. Everyone used to come in. And I'm talking about proper celebrities. People like Sinatra, Brando, Robert De Niro. I even photographed Princess Grace coming out of there once in The Independent.
  11. ^ Charlotte Eager (21 April 2006). "Factory Girls". The Evening Standard. p. 19. Archived from the original on 2 December 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2007. I gave a lunch for him at the Ritz, for 40 people. Everybody signed it. I gave a dinner for him, in the Casserole, [a defunct King's Road restaurant]. I gave a ball for him, when Regine's opened in London...
  12. ^ "Saving Grace Crew". MMV New Line Productions, Inc. Retrieved 11 December 2007. Villiers began her career in magazine journalism, serving as assistant editor at Ritz Newspaper...
  13. ^ James Clive (August 1980). "Anna Ford". Ritz Newspaper No. 44. Bailey & Litchfield. Anna Ford no longer gives interviews if she can help it.
  14. ^ Peter York (1978). "Dusty Springfield Talks To Peter York who appears by kind permission of Harpers & Queen". Ritz Newspaper No. 16. Bailey & Litchfield. p. 9. Oh well the last interview I had he was a Linda Ronstadt fan-we're going up in the world ...
  15. ^ a b David Litchfield (1985). "David Cassidy by George Michael". Ritz Newspaper No. 100. Bailey & Litchfield. pp. 16–19. The interview between DAVID and GEORGE first took place over lunch at Pier 31 Restaurant, at which they both got rather inebriated...
  16. ^ Helena Frith Powell (23 September 2007). "The Autobiography by Marie Helvin". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 23 September 2007.
  17. ^ David Litchfield (September 1984). "Lichfield talks to Litchfield". Ritz Newspaper No. 33. Bailey & Litchfield. p. 8. Now, let's get this straight. Why don't I get paid when I work for you?
  18. ^ Frances Lynn (1977). "Frances Lynn Talks With Sammy Davis, Jr". Ritz Newspaper No. 4. Bailey & Litchfield. p. 8. Actually, I make more money in two weeks than the President does in a year...
  19. ^ David Litchfield (1984). "Gore Vidal Talks with Litchfield". Ritz Newspaper No. 95. Bailey & Litchfield. p. 18. When did I start writing? Oh, at the age of about eight or nine. And by the time I was nineteen I had started four novels and nearly finished one, and then it must have been my fifth novel, I did finish when I was nineteen
  20. ^ David Litchfield (1979). "Paul McCartney". Ritz Newspaper No. 31. Bailey & Litchfield. p. 9. For a start when I sign my name it's a very personal thing. That mark is me, it's part of me and I don't want to give it away.
  21. ^ David Bailey (February 1981). "Mrs David Bailey And Her Olympus Camera". Ritz Newspaper No. 50. Bailey & Litchfield. p. 1.
  22. ^ John Swannell (1977). "Leonard does my hair because he's the best-who else can perform magic for me?". Ritz Newspaper No. 13. Bailey & Litchfield. p. 7.,
  23. ^ Manolo Blahnik (February 1981). "Detail The Knot - 78". Ritz Newspaper No. 15. Bailey & Litchfield. p. 1.
  24. ^ Robert Cox (February 1981). "The Year For Vertical Hair". Ritz Newspaper No. 50. Bailey & Litchfield. p. 4.

External links[edit]

The official Ritz Newspaper online archive]