Cleo magazine holds a very, very soft spot in my heart... it was the first ever grown-up magazine I bought and introduced me to a whole new world of publishing appreciation.
I bought my first copy at age 15, when I was in year 10. The October 1987 issue was my first. I was mesmerised. The next issue, November 1987, was the publication's 15th birthday issue, and by then I was hooked (I still have that issue!).
And now, ABC TV is bring the story of Cleo to life. This Sunday April 17 and Monday April 18, 'Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo' will screen on ABC1.
The two-part mini-series stars Asher Keddie as Ita Buttrose (the magazine's launch editor) and Rob Carlton as an unnerving version of the late mag magnate Kerry Packer.
Interestingly, research and marketing analysis showed the whole Cleo project would be a failure and the magazine was vehemently opposed by the powerful head of the Packer clan, the domineering Sir Frank Packer (known to his employees as “God”).
Yet Ita and Kerry, knowing the consequences of failure would be more than dire, decided to follow their gut instincts anyway.
When I received the press kit for the series in the post I was blown away by the details. Presented as a glossy magazine, with cover lines and a free lippy, it reads like a mini edition of Cleo. Being a beauty buff, I studied the attached lipstick, and realised the Revlon lippy - in a shade called Blasé Apricot - was the exact shade of the mag's masthead.
A few emails to the network's PR and it's revealed that this was tracked down for the press pack as it's the exact shade Ita herself has always worn (and still wears to this day) - and therefore the one Asher sports during the entire series.
Asher's nail polish shade is an OPI hue called My Chihihuahua Bites (of course!) and Ita dons that in the series (and in real life) too.
It's all about the accuracy of the little things, people! Watch 'Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo' on ABC1 this Sunday April 17 and Monday April 18, at 8.30pm.
Here is the trailer: