The Sun drops its Page 3 topless models: 5 things about the British tabloid

After 45 years of featuring a topless model on page 3 of its newspaper, British tabloid The Sun is finally covering up.

The decision this week has been celebrated by thousands who have actively campaigned to get The Sun to stop publishing photographs of topless women, reported The Independent.

The move was implemented without much fanfare, with January 16's edition being the last to feature a topless model. According to the Daily Mail, page 3 of the tabloid now features models wearing bikinis or underwear.

Ms Angela Towers, a participant in the No More Page Three campaign, told The Independent: "It's an historic moment, but the devil will be in the detail, and there's still a lot to be done."

"It's an indication that people power is causing change on some level," she said.

The 28-month campaign, launched in September 2012 by Ms Lucy Holmes, attracted more than 215,000 signatories.

Here are 5 things about the British tabloid.


1. First publication

The Sun was first published as a respectable broadsheet on September 15, 1964. After five years in publication, the paper was facing bankruptcy and was bought over from International Publishing Corporation by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch for 800,000 pounds (S$1,613,888).

2. Becoming a tabloid

After purchasing the paper, Mr Murdoch went on to save it from bankruptcy by applying the formula which had made him a billionaire: gossip in high quantities, low-level sensational journalism and a full page print of a topless model on every issue.

3. First topless model was born in Singapore

-- PHOTO: ARALDO DI CROLLALANZA/REX

Stephanie Rahn, also known as Stephanie Marrian, was the publication's first page 3 model, making her debut on Nov 17, 1970. The young model was of German decent and was born in Singapore. She was 20 when her issue was published.

4. Millions of readers

According to the Newsworks website, the tabloid is read by millions. The average circulation for its print edition is 1,892,207, while its online edition recieves about 1,266,000 unique visitors daily.

5. The Page 3 controversy

The images of the topless models have long drawn protests from feminists. Those involved with the No More Page Three campaign have created posters, petitions, videos and blogs to champion their message.

But those at The Sun were of the opinion that the page existed for the paper's readers.

Mr Murdoch tweeted in September 2014 that he thought the page was "old fashioned", but that readers "seem to disagree".

The Sun editor, David Dinsmore said in an interview with The Guardian in September 2014 that he made The Sun "for its readers, not for the No More Page 3 people, or the twitterati".

"We held focus groups in which it was clear that we shouldn't touch it (page three)." he said.

It seems The Sun wasn't too set on those views.