Lads’ magazine Loaded’s controversies from ‘workplace filled with narcotics’ to racy fashions

Controversial lads mag Loaded is set to make a comeback after selling its last issue in 2015.

Once famed for its take on ‘lad culture,’ non-pc humour and scantly clad women, the magazine has announced its return. The relaunch is due to come in digital form – despite a brief 2015 version of the same thing having little success at the time, the new content is set to be released via

The magazine set the tone of male lifestyle publications of that era, with outlets like FHM, Zoo and Nuts all taking elements from it, living off a diet of Liz Hurley, tales of debauchery and an appeal to men who didn’t fit the mould of many of the well to do gents’ mags on the market.

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Its strapline, “for men who should know better,” became famous in itself with the mag and its staff regularly showered in awards and accolades. Peter Crouch was a columnist, as were comedian Jack Dee and boxer Ricky Hatton.

The brand had all many of stunts up its sleeve
The brand had all manner of stunts up its sleeve

Meanwhile, its editor in 2012 said that its racy covers – including the wife of late footballing hero George Best, Alex, “had turned a generation on to porn”.

The mag often featured images of Liz Hurley – who the relaunch has gone to for one of their first articles – but also featured gonzo journalism, music and sport with its circulation at its peak over 400,000 readers.

In his 2022 book Animal House: Music Magazine, founder James Brown said that at one point he feared drug cops turning up at the office because of the number of references to illegal substances in the magazine’s issues.

Loaded was known for its controversial stunts
Loaded was known for its controversial stunts

He also said that management once told him to tell the staff that if they had drugs on them in the office they ought to go back to the pub and remove them – everyone stood up, so the story goes.

“It was an ‘I’m Spartacus’ moment. The look on the publisher’s face was priceless.”

The magazine was slammed by many when in 2007 its editor at the time Martin Daubney launched “Stright Pride”. He served as the deputy leader of Laurence Fox’s Reclaim Party in 2021 until 2022.

Abigail Clancy and then Loaded Magazine editor Martin Daubney in 2006
Abigail Clancy and then Loaded Magazine editor Martin Daubney in 2006

In 2013, the Co-op waged war aginst lads mags in general, insisting they introduce ‘modesty covers’ to prevent their racy covers from being seen by children.

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