Is 'Ethel' Magazine A Real Magazine? 'Pure' Paints A Good Picture Of What It's Like To Work In Media

Pure/Channel 4

Channel 4 is always a reliable source for brings cutting edge, risqué, close-to-the-bone TV shows. They aren't afraid to tackle some uncomfortable topics, ranging from the political to the economical to the physical. Their newest show, Pure, follows the story of Marnie, a woman experiencing a form of OCD called Pure O. In the show, Marnie leaves her family home in Edinburgh, moves to London, and takes up a job at a magazine. But is Pure's Ethel magazine a real magazine?

Well, in short, no. The magazine in question is not an actual publication. However, the author of the memoir upon which the show is based, Rose Cartwright, has worked as a journalist for several years. So no doubt Cartwright used her personal experiences to paint a picture of what it's like to be an intern in a magazine. Or, TBH, an intern in any sort of media profession. I'll put my hands up and say been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. I wouldn't personally recommend it, but also, it's, like, an unpleasant and necessary cog in the wheel that is career progression. And this show hits the nail on the head.

But Cartwright's personal experiences as an intern aren't all that's on display in this real AF dramedy. Nope. The author also serves up some real talk about mental health — in particular, her experience dealing with Pure O (also known as "Purely Obsessional").

Pure/Channel 4

In an article Cartwright wrote for the Guardian in 2013, she described Pure O as being characterised by "repetitive thoughts, doubts and mental images about things such as sex, blasphemy and murder." Cartwright's Pure O manifested itself mainly in sexual thoughts, and these experiences formed the basis of her memoir, which is also called Pure.

Sharing her story with a wider audience has been an incredibly positive experience for Cartwright, who has become something of a spokesperson for mental health sufferers in the UK and globally. Speaking to the Radio Times, Cartwright said:

Using her positive experience to pay it forward, Cartwright has also been promoting the global mental health movement Made Of Millions, which she co-founded. It is described as "a grassroots mental health platform for sufferers, by sufferers," on Cartwright's website.

When asked what shows such as Pure can add to the conversation about mental health, screenwriter Kirstie Swain told Channel 4:

Watch Pure on All 4 now