The Sun newspaper has brought back its page three topless models, after dropping the feature for three days. The paper printed the latest offering – courtesy of Nicole, 22 – under the headline “clarifications and corrections” claiming it was an “apology” on behalf of journalists who had speculated it was gone forever.
The story first appeared in The Sun‘s sister paper The Times on Tuesday, with the paper claiming it had been told last Friday’s page 3 would be the last. It said the writing had been on the wall for page 3 since Rupert Murdoch described it was “old fashioned” in September.
Initially the campaign to end page 3 was celebrating a victory, but their delight appeared to be premature. However, the appearance of the story in The Times has led to speculation that The Sun had merely cooked up a publicity stunt to increase sales.
The Times had already said The Sun would continue to show the pictures on their page3.com website. At the same time a spokesman for the The Sun took to Twitter to say: “Page 3 of The Sun is where it’s always been, between pages 2 and 4, and you can find Lucy from Warwick at Page3.com.”
Under today’s picture the article read: “Further to recent reports in all other media outlets, we would like to clarify that this is Page 3 and this is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth.
“We would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us.”
Anti-page 3 campaigners from the group ‘No More Page 3’ acknowledged “the fight might be back on”. Since their launch in 2012 the group has collected 217,000 signatures to a petition calling for a ban.
But not everyone was unhappy to see page 3 return, Jodie Marsh tweeted the following to her 609k followers:
. @NoMorePage3 may I humbly suggest that you now put your time & effort into something that actually matters like campaigning against FGM…
— Jodie Marsh (@JodieMarsh) January 21, 2015
Page 3 has been a part of The Sun‘s daily offering since 1970, and was one of the features that propelled the paper into the top spot as Britain’s most read newspaper.