OK!, which paid the couple $1.4 million for the exclusive
rights to the happy event, was distinctly upset when an appeal
judge in London overturned an injunction that could have forced
Hello! to pulp its 755,900 print run.
``We are very disappointed with the outcome,'' a spokesman for
OK! said after Thursday evening's ruling. Hello!, not
surprisingly, was ``delighted.''
Since OK! was launched seven years ago by porn publisher
Richard Desmond, it has had Hello! in its sights.
When OK! paid one million pounds for the wedding of Spice
Girls star Victoria Adams and soccer hero David Beckham, its
circulation pulled ahead of Hello! for the first time.
Official figures show that in the first six months of this
year, Hello!, which is owned by the Spanish Hola publishing
concern, clawed back its lead, with an average circulation of
458,663 compared to 455,162 for its rival.
Those who can make the distinction describe Hello! as being
slightly more up-market than OK!
Desmond this week bought the ailing Daily and Sunday Express
newspapers for about $175 million and media analysts are already
forecasting ``synergy'' between OK! and its new stablemates.
Desmond's ``adult'' publications, such as Asian Babes, Big Ones
and Nude Readers' Wives, are thought to have more in common with
the raunchy Daily Star, which the media magnate also acquired as
part of the deal.
Desmond has been described as ``the man for whom the age of
the celebrity was invented.''
But if he plans to put OK!'s wall-to-wall celebrity coverage
in a daily newspaper, Andy Warhol's dictum that everybody will be
famous for 15 minutes may turn out to be an overestimate.
An appearance in Hello! or OK! is not all plain sailing
however, with many celebrity relationships hitting the rocks
immediately after the couple have professed undying love in an
extensive photo-spread sold to one of the magazines.
Before OK! came on the scene, this used to be known as the
''curse of Hello!,'' but now it extends to both titles.
Jerry Hall once confided to OK! that Mick Jagger was a ``great
father.'' It soon emerged that he had fathered a child by
Brazilian model Luciana Morad and the following year, 1999, Hall
and Jagger separated.