Richard Desmond

Richard Desmond
Chancellor George Osborne and Richard Desmond (cropped).jpg
Richard Desmond in 2010
Richard Clive Desmond

(1951-12-08) 8 December 1951 (age 69)[1]
Hampstead, London, England
OccupationPublisher, businessman,
Years activesince 1972
Net worthDecrease £2 billion (Sunday Times Rich List, 2020)
TelevisionTelevision X (1995–2016)[2]
Red Hot TV (2000–2016)[2]
Channel 5 (2010–2014)
TitleOwner of Northern & Shell
Termsince 1974
  • Janet Robertson
    (m. 1983; div. 2010)
  • Joy Canfield
    (m. 2012)
Children1 daughter, 2 sons

Richard Clive Desmond (born 8 December 1951) is a British publisher, businessman and former pornographer.[3][4][5][6][7] He is the founder of Northern & Shell, which primarily operates in the businesses of property development, The Health Lottery and start-up ventures, but previously published a variety of pornographic titles and of celebrity magazines (including OK! and New!); and owned Britain's Channel 5 (before selling it to US broadcaster Viacom for £463m in May 2014)[8] and the pornographic television network, Portland, which it sold in April 2016 for less than £1m.[2] Desmond is also a former owner of Express Newspapers, which was sold to Reach plc (formerly Trinity Mirror) for £200m, of which £74m was invested in the Express newspapers pension scheme until 2027.[9] According to the 2020 Sunday Times Rich List, Desmond was the 70th richest person in the United Kingdom, with a £2 billion fortune. In 2020, Desmond was involved in controversy after pressuring the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick to overrule the Planning Inspectorate and approve a housing development for Desmond's company. The timing of the decision saved the company £40 million but was later overturned.

  1. ^ Davidson, Andrew (18 September 2011). "Desmond gives himself a clean bill of health". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Plunkett, John (1 April 2016). "Richard Desmond sells his adult TV channels". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
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  8. ^ Sweney, Mark (1 May 2014). "Viacom confirms purchase of Channel 5 from Richard Desmond for £450m". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  9. ^ Sweney, Mark (9 February 2018). "Trinity Mirror buys Express and Star in £200m deal". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 April 2020.