I'm not at all ashamed to say I read Heat Magazine, nor that I've barely missed an issue since it first launched, that I've applied for a job there twice, and that I regularly stalk and sometimes interact with some of the Heat staff on Twitter (something I tweeted to Boyd Hilton even made it into the magazine once). I've had a celebrity photos I've taken be chosen for the Snapped section three times, and I've been to countless free events and screenings through Heat over the years. One of my busiest ever blog traffic days happened when editor-in-chief, Lucie Cave, re-tweeted something I said about Liz Jones earning £500,000 from the Daily Mail (yes, Lucie follows me, air punch!). In short, I'm a Heat fangirl, and proud. If you're in a last-minute Christmas shopping panic, an annual subscription to Heat can be easily bought online for someone, and makes the perfect gift - a weekly delivery of hilarity and joy that will be the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Here's five reasons why Heat is so good.
1.) Celebrity Gossip With a Difference
Heat is first and foremost a celebrity gossip magazine (though it's so much more, and I'll come on to that), so if you don't give two hoots about famous people this might not be for you. What sets Heat apart from the other celeb weeklies is it's tone; it's witty and punchy, doesn't take the whole business of celebrity too seriously, and manages to show fondness for celebrity culture whilst simultaneously laughing at it. There have been some low points over the years, the renowned body-shaming feature "Circle of Shame" has thankfully been dropped, and it still has the ridiculous "Torso of the Week" - a page I try to make sure is never seen when I'm reading Heat on the Tube. On the whole, Heat makes me laugh out loud, the writers are so good, and it's definitely my kind of sarcastic, yet clever humour. They also have some great celebrity interviews, it feels like people are much more themselves in Heat; I've learnt more about the likes of Noel Gallagher and Ricky Gervais in their Heat interviews than their Vanity Fair ones, and they come across much more down to earth and absolutely hilarious. I wish all 'in-depth' celeb interviews could be done Heat-style.
2.) It's TV and Film Geek Heaven
If you're somewhat of a popular culture geek, there's no shame in that, and you will probably love Heat's behind the scenes interviews and breakdowns of the biggest films and TV shows. Head of All Things Geek, Boyd Hilton, often does on-set interviews whilst shows are still being made, and I love his weekly breakdown of what's been on - second only to Gogglebox in the amusing telly reaction stakes. The fact that the likes of the BBC invite Heat to snoop around on sets just goes to show how well-regarded and popular their TV and film reporting is.
3.) It's Also A TV Listings Guide
I'm thankful for the weekly TV guide that comes in each issue because I'm often out of the loop. I spend so much time on YouTube and watching shows online (totally legally, of course), that sometimes whole series that are broadcasted the old-fashioned completely pass me by. This helps me find out which things are worth watching, because I know the Heat team will have the same sense of what's 'good' as me, and even the listings manage to be hilarious. I love the Random or What? section on each page where they choose the most ridiculous cable show and make fun of it.
4.) The Fashion and Beauty Sections Are On Point
As time's gone by the fashion and beauty sections have gotten bigger, and now they're one of my favourite parts of the mag. They have a dedicated section to shopping, themed fashion posts and beauty ideas, and no rubbish fashion photography like some weekly celeb magazines have attempted. I'm glad everything in Heat is just photographed in flat lay or hanging up, it means you can get more in there, and the magazine doesn't pretend to be anything it's not.
5.) It's a Lifestyle Magazine Too
Over the years Heat has expanded its lifestyle sections to the point where it's pretty much 50/50 a celebrity and lifestyle magazine (and TV listings). I really like this because the front section has everything you need to find out what's going on in the celeb world and have a good laugh, and then there's pages of nice things to try and buy. They now also have dedicated sections for food and books (at a blogger event I ran with Penguin Books, they said how great the Heat books editor, Isabelle Broom, is for engaging with book bloggers on Twitter), as well as some smaller sections on theatre reviews and gadgets. I'd like to see some other lifestyle sections, particularly home, as I think that could fit in well with both their celeb and shopping features, but it's good to know that whatever they make a regular feature of, it still has Heat's brilliant witty tone.
Magazine.co.uk is the one-stop shop for magazine subscriptions. Whether you're treating yourself or gifting, they'll be able to cut you a deal that will save you money on the publication full price. They currently have £15 off when you buy three subscriptions, and they sell gift cards all year round so you can let someone choose their favourite magazine from a range of titles. Magazine.co.uk kindly gave me an annual subscription to Heat, and I've been loving it - each and every Tuesday it arrives with the mail and I pop it in my bag to read throughout the week each time I'm commuting. It makes a terrific gift - something to be enjoyed every week or every month. If you need a gift idea for these last few shopping days, take a look at their huge range of titles and genres and order from the comfort of your home, and I highly recommend Heat - it's bloody funny!