Northern & Shell

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Northern & Shell Network Ltd
Limited company
Founded December 1974
Founder Richard Desmond
Headquarters City of London, United Kingdom
Services Publishing and television
Owner Richard Desmond
Subsidiaries Express Newspapers
Portland TV
The Northern & Shell Building in front of Tower 42, with 20 Fenchurch Street under construction, in August 2012.

Northern & Shell is a British publishing and television group. The holding company name is Northern and Shell Network Ltd. Launched and founded in December 1974 and currently owned by Richard Desmond, it publishes the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday, and the magazines OK!, New!, Star, and TV Pick Magazine. The company also owns Portland TV,[1] which owns the adult TV channels; Television X, Red Hot TV, and others. Northern & Shell also owned three entertainment television channels: Channel 5, 5* and 5USA.


Desmond founded Northern and Shell in 1974 and launched a magazine called International Musician and Recording World. In 1983, Northern and Shell obtained the licence to publish Penthouse in the United Kingdom which led to its publishing a range of adult titles,[2] Asian Babes among them.[3][4] These titles were later sold in 2004. It was the first company to move to the revamped Docklands and the Princess Royal opened the offices. When the company moved to the Northern & Shell Tower Prince Philip opened the offices.

In November 2000 Northern & Shell acquired Express Newspapers from United News & Media for £125m,[5] enlarging the group to include the Daily and Sunday Express titles, the Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday (which Desmond started), and the Irish Star (owned jointly with the Irish Independent group). The Daily and Sunday Express each sell around 700,000 copies per issue.[6]

Northern & Shell also publishes a wide range of magazines including the celebrity weekly, OK!, started as a monthly in 1993.

On 23 July 2010, Northern & Shell bought Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited, which operates Channel 5, 5* and 5USA for €125 million (£103.5 million) from the RTL Group.[7] On 1 May 2014, the channels were sold to Viacom for £450 million (US$759 million).[8]

In 2013, Northern & Shell announced that its TV listing magazine TV Pick would no longer be published. [9]

In 2014, Northern & Shell invested in a series of startups under the brand Northern & Shell Ventures.[10] This included investments in OpenRent, Tepilo and Lulu.[11][12]


  1. "Portland TV". Portland TV. Retrieved 2013-06-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "About Northern & Shell". Northern and Shell. N&S Network. Retrieved 2006-12-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Jane Arthurs, Jean Grimshaw, "Women's bodies: discipline and transgression", Continuum International Publishing Group, 1999, ISBN 0-304-33963-6, pp.191-192
  4. Clarissa Smith, "One for the girls!: the pleasures and practices of reading women's porn", European Communication Research and Education Association Series, Intellect Books, 2007, ISBN 1-84150-164-6, p.57
  5. Jorn Madslien (12 February 2006). "Profile: Richard Desmond". BBC.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "ABC Circulation Figures". Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 2009-02-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (December 2008)
  7. "RTL Group sells UK broadcaster Five" (Press release). RTL Group. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Viacom to buy Channel 5 for £450m". BBC News. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Desmond's TV Pick closes after 22 issues". The Guardian. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Northern & Shell Ventures".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Steve, O'Hear. "Online Renting Service OpenRent Scores Media-For-Equity Deal From Northern & Shell Ventures". TechCrunch.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Richard Desmond: Google are gangsters, but wear fantastic sweaters".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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