Martin Townsend

Specialist Partner

Martin Townsend worked in journalism for 40 years. After starting in magazines at IPC, where he worked on the pop weekly, ‘No1’ and devised and launched The Hit, one of the first-ever ‘lads’ magazines, he joined Britain’s first colour newspaper, Today, in 1985. Martin became the youngest columnist in Fleet Street at the age of 25.

After seven years as a newspaper freelancer, he became Showbusiness Editor of YOU magazine at The Mail On Sunday, before joining OK! celebrity magazine in 1996, which he edited for four years. This was followed by seventeen years as Editor of The Sunday Express newspaper. At OK! he secured the world exclusives for the weddings of David and Victoria Beckham and Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones. At the Express he broke the biggest Royal exclusive in 20 years – the romance between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. During his spell at the Express he also worked to encourage the release of Yvonne Ridley, one of his staff journalists, who had been captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Martin is the author of ‘The Father I Had’, an acclaimed biography about growing up with a father who suffered from bi-polar disorder. He won a MIND award for the book and another for The Sunday Express’s ground-breaking Crusade for Better Mental Health. He also co-authored ‘The Real Deal’, the autobiography of publisher Richard Desmond.

Martin has worked on TV documentaries about Patrick Swayze and a critically acclaimed two-parter about Paula Yates. He appeared as ‘himself’ (Editor of Sunday Express) in an episode of ‘Hustle’ and has a gold disc for singing backing vocals on a Paul Young single, ‘I’m Only Foolin’ Myself’ (which was definitely true!). He broadcasts regularly on LBC and GB News and has also featured on Sky, Channel 9 in Australia and CNN in America.

After making the move into PR at Pagefield he advises clients on all aspects of dealing with national and local media and corporate communications and he led the client team for the Barts 900th anniversary campaign. Martin is also an expert in media and executive training.

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