Mediahuis/Belfast Telegraph Weekend magazine


In April 2021, Belfast Telegraph launched its revamped, redesigned Weekend magazine.

Already delivering quality content on Northern Irish issues and exclusive interviews with homegrown and international talent, its make-over ensured the magazine stood out from weekend competitors. Adding to the proposition, Weekend began working with the most respected names in the business, known and loved by readers: from broadcaster Frank Mitchell’s columns which often give cause to think differently about an issue, to chef Paula McIntyre whose recipes have been recreated around the globe, to sports presenter Orla Chennaoui who offers a refreshing take on life away from TV screens. Weekend’s focus was broadening relevant, engaging content with the ability to amplify. We worked closely with local charity Relate NI to offer exclusive relationship and family advice to readers. Appreciating the interest in food/drink, we extended our content to include a dedicated drinks column – which covers local and international developments – and introduced a now award-winning food writer, John Mulgrew, whose culinary creativity leaps from the page. At every turn, from events pages to Q&As, Weekend has broadened the reach of interviewees within all spheres of Northern Irish life. Furthermore, Weekend’s freshened design was carefully curated to maximise readability while showcase the best in appropriate imagery. Our talented visuals team have provided Weekend with suitable yet surprising shots that showcase not only their ability but the real stories behind the articles. For our first revamped issue, we decided on a local story that has garnered international interest: murals, and how our sophisticated street art is publicising a very different Northern Ireland. The vibrancy of our first updated issue, the bright tones and witty headline, ensure readers were aware of Weekend’s modernisation. A cover photograph of broadcaster Eamonn Holmes in a jail cell made UK and international headlines, accompanied by his interview with our award-winning entertainment correspondent. Little did we know that when we photographed Jude Hill as part of our young talent cover five months previously that he would make ripples around the world for his appearance in Sir Kenneth Branagh’s cinematic love letter to his home city, Belfast. A still from the film was transformed into a mural cover thanks to our design team, and was an ideal match to that issue’s content, dedicated to the Oscar winning film and including one-on-one interviews with Sir Kenneth, Jude and Jamie Dornan. Celebrating Northern Ireland has remained at the heart of our parent publication’s ethos since it was established in 1870. With our Derry Girls’ cover, designed to celebrate not just the return of the final series but our special themed content, we had the perfect alignment between popular culture and homegrown pride. Taking inspiration from a 1990s music magazine, complete with appropriate design, the issue was fun and inviting, proving to be the must-read and becoming the subject of two Belfast Telegraph podcasts. With Weekend, the team has created a magazine that is worthy of its parent publication and reputation, and that has led to increased readership.