Paul Du Noyer: “My policy was whatever they asked me to do, I said ‘yes’.”

Editor of Q Magazine, Paul Du Noyer, inspired Journalism students on Monday 13th of February with an engaging lecture on his life as a journalist.

Having landed a successful job in music journalism, it is hard to believe that Du Noyer “had no experience whatsoever” when he started out his journalistic career in the late ‘70s. He didn’t know he wanted to be a journalist, but his break came when “the NME (New Musical Express) did a very unusual thing. They advertised for a staff vacancy.”

From that day on, Du Noyer became a full time journalist for the NME. He got to cover Live Aid for the magazine, although “NME didn’t really want to cover Live Aid. They just didn’t think it was important.”

His career led him to cross paths with stars of the era such as The Specials, Elvis Costello, Joe Strummer from The Clash and later on, Madonna and Courtney Love. Admittedly, he said “…whilst it was nice to do The Specials and The Clash, it took a couple of years before they would entrust someone like me with that kind of story.”

Once Du Noyer hit 25, he decided it was time to leave, feeling he was ‘a bit too old for NME.’ Having a brainwave, he decided to start up a men’s magazine called ‘The Hit’. Unfortunately for Du Noyer, the magazine wasn’t successful and closed down after a few months.

He didn’t give up there though, he decided to try again after a chat with some friends, and he proceeded to set up the very successful ‘Q magazine’.

Du Noyer with his book 'In the City'

His career at Q meant he had to travel all over the world to interview celebrities, most notably Courtney Love, who he described as ‘completely doolally’ as she ‘was the only one of his employees to actually lose consciousness while he was interviewing her.’

Du Noyer spoke some truths about the industry: “Interviewing people is probably the most glamorous…seemingly the most glamorous is when you travel abroad and interview these stars. It is awfully tough when they are as lost in show business as somebody like poor old Courtney Love is.”

He stated he ‘didn’t really want to be’ editor of Q magazine, but he still progress his work further and launched MOJO magazine, a glossy cover with the likes of Sting and Paul Weller on the front. He also helped with the launch of heat magazine. In his time, Du Noyer has also written books. It would be appropriate to say that he’s an inspiration to students, especially with the motive ‘If you don’t succeed at first, try again!’.

His website his available here.


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