Monday, November 16, 2009

The Sun is not 40 tomorrow

Shocka as The Sun gets it wrong!

Tomorrow The Sun is celebrating its fortieth birthday. (The Sun: We are 40 tomorrow) Invariably this is leading to much self-congratulation.

But The Sun has made a very basic error - the first edition did not "burst on to news stands on Monday, November 17, 1969". Depending on your preference (or whichever is the nearer excuse for self-congratulation) The Sun began either on September 15th, 1964 (see for instance the five year old BBC News: Forty years of The Sun) or on April 15th, 1912.

The latter date was when a newspaper called the Daily Herald was launched. It lasted under that title for over four decades, during most of which it served as the official newspaper of the Labour Movement (so its later "desertion" of the "family" is a key reason why many in Labour hate it). However by 1964 sales were heavily in decline and so it underwent a relaunch and a title change as The Sun, which was initially a high-minded broadsheet (publishers IPC already had a tabloid, the Daily Mirror). But after five years it was doing even worse than the Herald and so IPC sold it to Rupert Murdoch who relaunched it as the tabloid it is today on November 17th, 1969. But I guess "40 years of Rupert Murdoch" is not so good for publicity.

I can't remember if The Sun itself was celebrating 40 years in 2004 but the BBC News story suggests it was. And I won't be surprised if in 2012 The Sun celebrates its 100th birthday, then its 50th in 2014 and again in 2019. It seems The Sun has more birthdays than the Queen.

1 comment:

Tim said...

And after celebrating 40 years of The Sun tomorrow, they will celebrate 40 years of Page 3 at the same time next year (on the basis that 17/11/1970 was the first time one of them got their tits out)


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