Richard Desmond

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Richard Desmond is the founder of Northern & Shell, who own magazines, newspapers and TV channels in the UK.


In 1974 Desmond founded Northern & Shell and began to publish music magazine International Musician and Recording World. In 1993 N&S launched OK! Magazine; bought Express Newspapers from what is now United Business Media, run by Labour peer Lord Hollick; and in 2011 bought The Health Lottery.[1][2]

Northern & Shell currently own four newspapers - the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday - and celebrity magazines OK!; new!; and Star, is a 50 percent joint venture partner in the Irish Daily Star.[1] and own adult channels Television X and Red Hot.[3]

In 2010 N&G bought the UK's Channel 5 for £104.5 million. Desmond then put it up for sale in 2014 expecting to raise about £700 million; US media group Viacom bought it for £450 million.[4]


In April 2015 Desmond publicly pledged £1 million to the United Kingdom Independence Party. The story was on the front cover of his newspaper - Daily Express.

Desmond said:

'I am fed up with complacency and cronyism, and I’m fed up with the floppy-haired Eton club. I am also fed up with champagne socialists who just tell people what they want to hear'.
'Ukip is a thorn in their side. That is why I am doing this. I want them to carry on being a thorn in the side of the Tories and Labour.'[3]


Recorded by the Electoral Commission:[5]

Date Name of donor Amount Donated to Subsidiary (parties only)
11/12/2014 Northern & Shell Media Group Ltd £300,000.00 UK Independence Party (UKIP) Political Party Central Party

As of 17 April 2015, Desmond's £1 million donation has not been recorded by the Electoral Commission.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Northern and Shell About, accessed 17 April 2015.
  2. Richard Desmond: The demon proprietor of Fleet Street Independent, 25 October 2004, accessed 17 April 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rowen Mason Daily Express owner Richard Desmond hands Ukip £1m Guardian, 16 April 2015, accessed 17 April 2015.
  4. BBC News Viacom to buy Channel 5 for £450m, 1 May 2014, accessed 17 April 2015.
  5. Electoral Commission, Donation Search, accessed 17 April 2015