Daily Mail takes title of UK’s most read paper from The Sun after 42-year run

Decline of Murdoch-owned paper marks first time Daily Mail has outsold the red top since 1970

Vincent Wood
Saturday 20 June 2020 09:20 BST
The change in the top spot comes as papers battle to sell physical copies during the ongoing pandemic
The change in the top spot comes as papers battle to sell physical copies during the ongoing pandemic (AFP/Getty)

After 42 years as the nation’s most-read newspaper, the Sun has been knocked off the top spot for circulation by the Daily Mail, according to the latest available figures.

Launched in 1964 the red-top has dominated the print media landscape throughout the last four decades – serving as the archetypal tabloid newspaper and an extension of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.

However amid declining print sales across the sector and the impacts of the coronavirus, the paper has been overtaken by the Mail for the first time since 1970.

According to figures reported by industry publication Press Gazette, the daily edition of the Mail reported sales of 980,000 per day in May – a reduction of 17 per cent year on year.

And while the Sun recently stopped publishing its figures, the Mail is understood to have seen evidence of its new position as the nation’s most read paper.

The Murdoch publication’s last report in March put its daily sales at 1,210,915 to the Mail’s 1,132,908.

The Mail’s editor Geordie Grieg, who took on the publication from Paul Dacre last year, said he was “humbled that our readers have backed us so magnificently and loyally by buying the paper to make us Britain’s bestselling paper.”

He added: “I am immensely proud and delighted that the Daily Mail has become Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper, an historic moment in our history.”

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