'Keep the bare boobs out of The Sun': Is Page 3 about to move upmarket?

Campaigners bolstered by Sun editor’s decision to ‘reinvent’ its most famous and controversial fixture for the 21st century

Political Editor

It is not, by any means, the end of Page 3. But there were signs yesterday that a mass petition to “keep the bare boobs out of The Sun” is starting to make a difference, nearly a year after the campaign was launched.

Apparently chastened by the No More Page 3 petition, signed by more than 100,000 people and backed by the teaching unions, MPs and Girlguiding UK, The Sun’s new editor, David Dinsmore, has asked a group of female executives to “reinvent” Page 3 to make it more relevant to the 21st century.

The changes will mean, says one former News International executive, “more celeb pictures, more up-market shoots and less nipples”. Jules Stenson, the ex-features editor of the News of the World, tweeted: “I am told The Sun is planning to ‘reinvent’ Page 3. No love for it among bosses, but it is a sales fix they cannot live without.”

In February, The Sun’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, responded to a Twitter user who told him Page 3 was “so last century” by writing: “You may be right, don’t know but considering. Perhaps halfway house with glamorous fashionistas.”

It is thought the changes are the idea of Mr Dinsmore, who took over as editor last month, rather than an instruction from Rupert Murdoch, although it is clear that the tweet from on high has been influential.

But would the inclusion of “upmarket shoots”  be an improvement in the eyes of campaigners – particularly because it suggests that fashion models are more worthy of exposure than the women now on Page 3. Nevertheless, the changes are an acknowledgement that the huge backing for the petition has left the paper’s executives and new editor embarrassed. 

The No More Page 3 petition was launched last August by the activist Lucy Holmes, who noticed the stark contrast between images of Jessica Ennis, who had just won an Olympic gold medal, and topless women on Page 3. She and other campaigners have protested outside Wapping every week for the past year. Their most recent protest was in front of The Sun’s Royal Baby Web Cam, a live feed from outside the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth.

Lisa Clarke of No More Page 3 said yesterday the changes were proof that they were being listened to. She said Mr Dinsmore had been engaging with the group, which by last night had secured more than 108,000 signatures. She added: “We are cautious because it is not a victory until Page 3 has gone. There will not be massive celebrations, but it is obviously quite exciting that there is an acknowledgement of the hard work that has gone on.

“We have some fantastic ideas ... about putting female athletes, artists, people who represent women as we actually are, rather than just standing there in our pants for the entertainment of men. There is a huge moral shift in the zeitgeist and we are very happy to talk to these executives about making Page 3 a more female-positive space.”

Neither Mr Dinsmore nor anyone from The Sun responded to requests for comment yesterday.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Subsea Cables Installation Project Manager

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Subsea Cables Installation Project Manager

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Head of Offshore Operations & Interfaces

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Offshore Engineering Design Manager

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices