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A Polar Bear Ate My Head : Misadventures in Magazines - Paul Merrill

A Polar Bear Ate My Head

Misadventures in Magazines

By: Paul Merrill

Paperback | 1 August 2012

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The hilarious and surreal true story of Australia’s biggest ever men’s magazine launch . . . and the chaos and disasters that followed.

Paul Merrill was an award-winning women’s magazine editor when he was inexplicably chosen to launch Britain’s first weekly publication aimed at the ‘new lad’: ZOO. He quickly gained notoriety after running competitions to find the country’s randiest nanna, ugliest baby and teen mum of the year, and offering prizes of a boob job for your girlfriend, lesbian wedding and even euthanasia. Then he was suddenly deported to Australia to launch ZOO here, and events became even more outlandish.

Find out how Merrill:
  • persuaded the prime minister’s stepdaughter to remove her clothes
  • hijacked Kyle Sandilands’ wedding
  • lost 130,000 pairs of inflatable breasts in the South China Sea
  • accidentally gave his home address to a serial killer
  • tried to cook a dwarf
  • searched for Australia’s hottest horse dentist and sexiest wall.
Containing hundreds of bizarre and unexpected anecdotes, A Polar Bear Ate My Head is the most side-splitting insider’s account of the world of magazines ever published. Whether or not you’ve ever bought a men’s mag or been attacked by the world’s largest white bear, you will love this book.

About the Author

Paul Merrill was an award-winning women's magazine editor when he was inexplicably chosen for the biggest magazine launch in British history. When the weekly men's magazines, ZOO and Nuts burst onto the market, they transformed the magazine landscape and thrust Paul stumbling haplessly into a bewildering and surreal world in the full glare of the media spotlight.

He ran competitions to find the country's Randiest Nanna, Hottest Horse Dentist and Ugliest Baby, and offered prizes of a 'boob job for your girlfriend', lesbian wedding, divorce, 'voluntary euthanasia for a loved one' and a time machine (a clock). He judged a naked beauty contest with Leo Sayer, attacked Tony Blair with a glove puppet, upset Donald Trump, threw a biscuit at Christopher Lee, received advice on stain removal from Gordon Brown and threatened Abi Titmuss with her own knickers.

In a series of other debacles, he tried to burn Spit the Dog, got a Groundforce star arrested in Greece and made Cheryl Cole burst into tears. He also wheeled Mo Mowlam through central London on a motorized bed when she became his sex agony aunt. After an understandable backlash from right-thinking people across the nation, he launched a search for Britain's Sexiest Feminist.

Then he was unexpectedly deported to Australia to launch the magazine there, and things got even more bizarre and, at times, disastrous. In an eventful few years, he received three death threats, persuaded the Prime Minister's daughter to strip off, adopted a four-legged chicken, was nearly sent to jail for inciting terrorism, had a dwarf basted and lost 130,000 pairs of inflatable boobs in the South China Sea. Along the way, he received a personal letter from Arnold Schwarzenegger banning him from California, gave a serial killer his home address and upset Al Jazeera by offering Oprah Winfrey u300,000.

Things take an unexpected turn when he finds a kilo of cocaine and accidentally gets accused of sexual harassment by a cleaning lady. Now living in exile in Sydney hoping for a quieter existence.

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