The Sunday Sport is a British tabloid newspaper that was founded by David Sullivan in 1986. It does not publish journalism, instead featuring sensationalized, fictionalized, and satirical content alongside celebrity gossip, sports coverage, and numerous images of topless female glamour models.
|Publisher||Sunday Sport (2011) Ltd |
(original publisher Sport Newspapers)
|Political alignment||None (yellow journalism)|
|Headquarters||City View House 5 Union Street, Ardwick, Manchester, M12 4JD, United Kingdom|
The Sunday Sport has printed many entirely concocted stories, including a London bus being discovered at the Antarctic, a World War II bomber on the Moon, and a statue of Elvis Presley on Mars. It contains extensive advertising for sexual services. A sister title, the Daily Sport, was published from 1991 to 2011.
Currently, the tabloid appears three times a week as the Sunday Sport (Sundays), the Midweek Sport (Wednesdays), and the Weekend Sport (Fridays). Due to its emphasis on nudity and sexual content, it is available only in select outlets.
Founded by David Sullivan, the Sunday Sport first hit newsstands on 14 September 1986. It quickly became known for its outlandish and farcical content, with headlines such as "Adolf Hitler Was A Woman", "Aliens Turned Our Son Into A Fish Finger", and "Donkey Robs Bank." Its editors have included Michael Gabbert, Tony Livesey, Paul Carter, and Nick Appleyard. A sister daily title, the Daily Sport, launched in 1991. Livesey's 1998 book Babes, Booze, Orgies and Aliens: The Inside Story of Sport Newspapers offers an insider's perspective on the tabloid's first decade.
The Sunday Sport capitalized on the popularity of The Sun's Page 3 feature, but made sexualized content more of a primary focus by printing topless glamour models across multiple pages and publishing a "nipple count" to highlight how many exposed breasts it featured. The tabloid courted controversy by featuring 15-year-old aspiring glamour models in scantily clad poses, counting down the days until it could legally show them topless on their 16th birthdays, as it did with Linsey Dawn McKenzie and Hannah Claydon, among others. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 ended this practice by raising the minimum permissible age for topless modeling to 18.
The Sunday Sport's circulation reached an all-time high of 167,473 in 2005, and Sullivan sold his Sunday Sport and Daily Sport titles in 2007 for £40 million. Circulation declined markedly thereafter, with the new parent company, Sport Media Group, withdrawing the titles from the newspaper industry's monthly circulation audit in 2009. In the same year, Sullivan stepped in to save Sport Media Group with a £1.68 million loan. The company entered administration on 1 April 2011, at which point publisher Richard Desmond refused to continue printing the titles because of outstanding debts. The Sunday Sport returned to newsstands several weeks later on 8 May 2011, after Sullivan reacquired it for £50,000. The paper currently appears three times a week as the Sunday Sport (Sundays), the Midweek Sport (Wednesdays), and the Weekend Sport (Fridays), all published by Sullivan's company Sunday Sport (2011) Limited.
In 2016, the Advertising Standards Authority banned sexually explicit advertisements for telephone chat lines from the back page of the Sunday Sport over concerns that children could easily see them.
- James Robinson; Mark Sweney (10 August 2011). "David Sullivan could launch Friday edition of Daily Sport guardian.co.uk". Guardian. UK. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
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- Jackson, Jasper (21 September 2016). "Sexually explicit Sunday Sport ads banned despite 'censorship' claim". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
- Di Hand; Steve Middleditch (2014). Design for Media: A Handbook for Students and Professionals in Journalism, PR, and Advertising. Routledge. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-317-86402-8.
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- "Page Three: the naked truth about fame game". Belfast News Letter. 17 June 2020.
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- McNally, Paul (1 April 2011). "Daily Sport ceases publication and calls in administrators". Press Gazette. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
- Sweney, Mark (4 June 2011). "David Sullivan paid just £50,000 for Sunday Sport". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
- "Sexually explicit Sunday Sport ads banned despite 'censorship' claim". the Guardian. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2021.