Breathy Kensington Thing
AP22 to AP31
AP's most obvious concession to commercialism (apart from being a computer games magazine created solely to make large sums of cash for a publishing company, of course) was the guiltily successful Complete Control Hotline.
For the first nine months of 1993, readers were invited by means of quarter-page advertisements unconsciously echoing the squalidity of the real thing to phone a series of 0898 numbers* in order to be read tips by an AP staff member for precisely three minutes and £1.34.
What had happened was this: Stuart had made a suggestion to have competitions enterable by telephone on the grounds that it was easier and cheaper for the readers, and that Future made money out of it instead of the Royal Mail getting it all.
Somehow this got twisted by MD Chris Anderson into a telephone tips line, which everyone on AP was then railroaded into doing via some shady organisation in a dodgy office near the Walrus and Carpenter pub. No tapes are known to have survived, though visitors to Bath can still see the pub.
The Complete Control Hotline made a bit of money, but the luckless voice artistes did it in such a deliberately half-arsed way that it didn't last too long.
It was oddly popular among the female readership.