The Word (UK magazine)

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The Word
Word Magazine February 2009.jpg
Word Magazine February 2009
EditorMark Ellen
PublisherDevelopment Hell Limited
First issue2003
Final issue2012
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based inLondon

The Word was a monthly music magazine published in London. It was voted UK 'Music Magazine Of The Year' in 2007 and 2008.[1][2] It ran for 114 issues, the last bearing the cover date August 2012.[3]


The Word was launched in February 2003.[4] It was the first magazine to come from Development Hell Ltd,[3] an independent publishing venture set up by David Hepworth and Jerry Perkins, two former EMAP executives with more than 35 years combined experience devising, editing and publishing titles such as Q, Empire, Mojo and Heat. The company also produce the dance music and clubbing title Mixmag and owns the dance music networking site Don't Stay In. The Guardian Media Group owned 29.5% of the Development Hell Ltd.[3] The Word was edited by Mark Ellen, former editor of Smash Hits, Q and Select, launch managing editor of Mojo, and former editor-in-chief of EMAP Metro.[5]

On 29 June 2012, David Hepworth announced the closure of the magazine via his Twitter feed and on the magazine's website.[6]


The magazine was divided into two sections; the front, which featured photographs, interviews and features, and the rear, which concentrated on reviews of CDs, DVDs, books and films.

Regular features included 'Diary' (Mark Ellen discussing recent events) 'Face Time' (an interview feature), 'Word of Mouth' (People we like & the things they like) 'Departure Lounge' (obituaries), 'Word to the Wise' (an interview) 'InBox' (letters to the editor), and 'The Last Word', the reviews section. Latterly, this included 'The Massive Attacks', a section devoted to reader reviews taken from the magazine's website.

Artists interviewed by The Word included Paul McCartney, Prince, Nick Cave, Samuel L. Jackson, U2, Martin Scorsese, Thom Yorke, Morrissey, Björk, Michael Palin, Brian Eno, Peter Ackroyd, David Sedaris, Ricky Gervais, Russell Brand, Wim Wenders, Brian De Palma, Oasis, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Amy Winehouse, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Sam Mendes, Salman Rushdie, Malcolm Gladwell, David Simon, Van Morrison, Robert Smith and Lou Reed.


The Word's weekly podcast was an informal, unscripted broadcast of irregular length, and featured regular contributors Mark Ellen, David Hepworth, Andrew Harrison, Fraser Lewry and Kate Mossman. Guests included Nick Lowe, Andrew Collins, Barry McIlheney, Clare Grogan, Supergrass, Danny Baker, CW Stoneking, Neil Hannon, Robin Ince, Devon Sproule & Paul Curreri, Dom Joly, Wilko Johnson, Van Dyke Parks, Bob Harris, Pugwash, Robert Forster, Jac Holzman, Darrell Scott and Chris Difford. One popular section was the telling of the HORA (Hoary Old Rock Anecdote). It ran for 217 episodes between October 2006 and June 2012.

In 2008 the magazine launched a second, occasional Podcast entitled 'Backstage'. It featured interviews with figures of interest including Richard Thompson, David Simon, Malcolm Gladwell, Neal Stephenson, Clive James and Pete Atkin, Don Felder, and Al Kooper.

In 2014 the podcast returned to iTunes with a series of interviews in front of a live audience at "The Islington" venue in North London. Guests included, Simon Napier Bell , Ben Watt and Danny Baker .


The Word's website was a promotional tool for the magazine and a forum for its readers, although editorial staff occasionally posted and readers' reviews were reproduced in the magazine itself.

Following the closure of the Word Magazine website on 17 July 2012, the reader community created its own site, named The Afterword.[7] with the aim of providing continuity of conversation and cultural discussion (and lists). The byline of the new site is: "Musings on The Byways Of Popular Culture".

List of cover stars[edit]


  1. ^ Awards 2007 Archived 15 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Awards 2008 Archived 8 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c Ben Cardew (29 June 2012). "The final Word: music magazine to close after nine years". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  4. ^ "The 20 Best Magazines of the Decade (2000–2009)". Paste Magazine. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  5. ^ Egan, Sean (12 May 2011). The Mammoth Book of Bob Dylan. Hachette UK. ISBN 978-1-84901-763-3.
  6. ^ "Word magazine to close in July". BBC News. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Musings on the byways of popular culture". The Afterword. Retrieved 13 June 2014.

External links[edit]