The Northern & Shell Board

Richard Desmond


Richard Desmond is the founder and owner of Northern & Shell, Britain’s leading independent publishing company. He has been a media entrepreneur throughout his working life having begun his career in advertisement sales and then publishing at the age of 16. Five years later in 1974 he founded Northern & Shell and launched its first magazine, International Musician & Recording World. Since then he has developed the Northern & Shell group into all main sectors of specialist and consumer publishing as well as television, radio, book publishing and internet activities.

Martin Ellice

Joint Managing Director

Martin Ellice joined Northern & Shell in 1980 in the credit control department, having come to the company from a background in local administration and the entertainment industry. He has been involved in all major areas within the group and has held the positions of accounts manager, general manager and commercial director before being appointed to his present position of Joint Managing Director in 1992.

Robert Sanderson

Financial Director

Robert Sanderson is a qualified accountant who was previously with Grant Thornton and then the international PR company Shandwick as Group Accountant before joining the Reuters group as a Financial Accountant. He joined Northern & Shell in 1995 as Financial Controller, became Deputy Finance Director in March 1998 and took up his present position of Group Finance Director in May 1999.

Paul Ashford

Group Editorial Director

Paul Ashford joined the group in 1979 as supplements editor from an extensive background in journalism and research. He has participated in all the major editorial developments of the company in a variety of media, from the launch of specialist magazines and high-profile news-stand titles to contract publishing and television. Previous positions within the company have included executive editor and group managing editor, and he has held his present position of Group Editorial Director since 1989.