Jackie Magazine: A Girl’s Best Friend, BBC2

by | Apr 9, 2007 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

Yes, this was a well-made documentary revealing that Bible for girls was produced by dour, prudish Scots – a bit like finding out that Heat! is the work of the Quakers and Sugar! is produced by the Women’s Institute.

What was good about it?

• The wistful tone with shimmering images of girls in sensible clothes and the hits from the 1970s played at the sort of level that wouldn’t get mum banging on the ceiling.

• Top talking heads were Zoe Tyler and Martha Kearney; and we quite liked Michelle Collins being a little too excited (“I think it came out on a Wednesday, but if you were lucky you got it on a Tuesday!”)

• Laughing at the hellish fashion tips – the worst of all was a beret topped with knitted eggs and bacon.

• Laughing at the naive relationship tips – such as pulling away from a kiss if the boy showed signs of “excitement”.

• The history of the magazine was well chronicled, from its launch in the DC Thomson HQ in Dundee in 1964, edited by Gordon Small (qualifications? he was an RAF engine-fitter). It managed to please girls for many years but, in 1993, it was axed because sales were down to 50,000 and DC Thomson didn’t want to produce what the teen market demanded – trashy mags for budding slags with flashy bags containing 20 fags.

• David Cassidy and Donny Osmond.

• Former editor Sandy Monks’s admission – “Now it can be told: we just made it up.” – about the sort of articles that claimed boys with square heads were good catches but ones with flaring eyebrows should be avoided.

What was bad about it?

• It seems that Jackie’s agony aunts Cathy & Claire inspired Trashy Trisha Goddard who appeared throughout, trying to say intelligent things but never really succeeding.

• Newspuss Fiona Bruce starred in some of the magazine’s photo love stories and seems to have spent the whole of her life being the type of eager-to-please-men woman that Jackie tried to create.

• Trevor Neal and Simon Hickson were hopelessly unfunny and probably never really read Jackie magazine as kids.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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