Daily Star (United Kingdom)

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Daily Star (United Kingdom)
Daily Star logo.png
TypeDaily newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Reach plc
Publisher Reach plc
EditorJon Clark
Founded2 November 1978;42 years ago (1978-11-02)
Headquarters Canary Wharf
London, E14
United Kingdom
Circulation 292,395(as of October 2019) [1]
Website www.dailystar.co.uk

The Daily Star is a daily tabloid newspaper published from Monday to Saturday in the United Kingdom since 2 November 1978. On 15 September 2002 a sister Sunday edition, Daily Star Sunday was launched with a separate staff. On 31 October 2009, the Daily Star published its 10,000th issue. Jon Clark is the editor-in-chief of the paper. [2]


When the paper was launched from Manchester, it was circulated only in the North and Midlands. It was conceived by the then-owners of Express Newspapers, Trafalgar House, to take on the strength of the Daily Mirror and The Sun in the north. It was also intended to use the under-capacity of the Great Ancoats Street presses in Manchester as the Daily Express was losing circulation. The Daily Star sold out its first night print of 1,400,000. Its cover price has decreased over the years to compete with its rival The Sun. [3]

The Daily Star is published by Reach plc. The paper predominantly focuses on stories revolving around celebrities, sport, and news and gossip about popular television programmes, such as soap operas and reality TV shows.


The Daily Star was originally created in 1978 as part of Express Newspapers to utilise printing presses that had been running under capacity due to falling Daily Express circulation. It was acquired in 2000 by Richard Desmond, and sold to Reach plc in 2018. [4]

Regular features

Until April 2019, [5] the newspaper featured a photograph of a topless model on weekdays (in a similar vein to The Sun's former Page 3 feature) and has discovered some well known models, most notably Rachel Ter Horst in 1993, and Lucy Pinder on a Bournemouth beach in summer 2003. Such models as Cherry Dee and Michelle Marsh have also appeared on their page 3. These women were known in the paper as "Star Babes". The paper's glamour photographer is Jeany Savage.

Other regular features in the Daily Star include Wired, a daily gossip column edited by James Cabooter, "Hot TV", a television news column edited by Ed Gleave and Peter Dyke, Mike Ward's weekly television review page and "Forum", a daily page devoted to readers' text messages, which are apparently printed verbatim. Opinion columns by Dominik Diamond and Vanessa Feltz were discontinued in 2008. Until he died in 2012, the chief football writer was Brian Woolnough, lured from The Sun in 2001 for a £200,000 pay packet. [6]

The paper's leader column, entitled "The Daily Star Says", appears most days on Page 6.


Jeffrey Archer

In 1987, the newspaper lost a high-profile libel action brought by Jeffrey Archer, leading to an award of £500,000 in damages, over allegations of Archer's involvement with a prostitute, Monica Coghlan. The editor of the Daily Star, Lloyd Turner, was sacked six weeks after the trial. However, the newspaper always stood by its story, and on 19 July 2001 Archer was found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice at the 1987 trial and was sentenced to a total of four years' imprisonment. The paper later launched a bid to reclaim £2.2 million – the original payout plus interest and damages. [7]

Hillsborough disaster

On 18 April 1989, three days after the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 Liverpool F.C. fans were fatally injured at an FA Cup semi-final game, the Daily Star ran the front-page headline "Dead Fans Robbed by Drunk Thugs", alleging that Liverpool fans had stolen from fans injured or killed in the tragedy. These allegations, along with claims that fans had also attacked police officers aiding the injured, were published in several other newspapers, though it was the content of a front-page article by The Sun on 19 April which caused the most controversy. A later inquiry showed all of the claims made were false. [8]

Madeleine McCann

Both the Daily Star and its Sunday equivalent, as well as its stablemates the Daily Express and Sunday Express , featured heavy coverage of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in May 2007. In 2008, the McCann family sued the Star and Express for libel. The action concerned more than 100 stories across the Daily Express, Daily Star and their Sunday equivalents, which accused the McCanns of involvement in their daughter's disappearance. The newspapers' coverage was regarded by the McCanns as grossly defamatory. In a settlement at the High Court of Justice, the newspapers agreed to run a front-page apology to the McCanns on 19 March 2008, publish another apology on the front pages of the Sunday editions on 23 March and make a statement of apology at the High Court. They also agreed to pay costs and substantial damages, which the McCanns plan to use to aid their search for their daughter. [9] The Daily Star apologised for printing "stories suggesting the couple were responsible for, or may be responsible for, the death of their daughter Madeleine and for covering it up" and stated that "We now recognise that such a suggestion is absolutely untrue and that Kate and Gerry are completely innocent of any involvement in their daughter's disappearance." [10]

Volcanic ash front page

On 21 April 2010, in the aftermath of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, the Star splashed a computer-generated image on its front page of British Airways Flight 9, which in 1982 encountered volcanic ash and suffered the temporary loss of all engines. The image, taken from a documentary, was accompanied by a headline "Terror as plane hits ash cloud", without any indication on the front page that the image was computer-generated. [11] The splash, on the first day that flights restarted after a six-day closure of UK airspace due to volcanic ash, led to the removal of the paper from newsagents at some UK airports. [12]

Grand Theft Auto Rothbury

On 21 July 2010, the paper ran a story [13] by Jerry Lawton claiming that Rockstar Games was planning an instalment of its Grand Theft Auto series of video games based around the then-recent shootings carried out by Raoul Moat. Amid outcry at the inaccuracy of the story, an apology was published by the paper on 24 July [14] for making no attempt to verify the truth of any of the claims, publishing what was claimed to be the cover, criticising Rockstar for its alleged plans without questioning the likelihood, making no attempt to contact Rockstar before publishing, and obtaining statements from a grieving relative of one of Moat's victims. The paper claimed to have paid "substantial" damages to Rockstar as a result, which Rockstar donated to charity.

Prior to the paper's apology, Lawton defended his story on his Facebook page, claiming to be "baffled by the fury of adult gamers", describing them as "grown (?!?) men who sit around all day playing computer games with one another". He then added "Think I'll challenge them to a virtual reality duel....stab....I win!" [15]

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson interview fabrication

On 11 January 2019, the paper published [16] a front-page article in which it is claimed that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson had stated “generation snowflake or, whatever you want to call them, are actually putting us backwards”, referring to the millennial generation, and “if you are not agreeing with them then they are offended – and that is not what so many great men and women fought for”. In response, Dwayne Johnson stated that the article was "completely untrue, 100% fabricated", and "never took place" through his Instagram and Twitter pages, later causing the Daily Star to take the article offline. [17] [18]


*He was brought in to take the paper downmarket, which he did, briefly including content from the Sunday Sport under the name Daily Star Sport (this was before the Daily Sport launched). He had a very short tenure as circulation dropped dramatically. He was the journalist who had exposed the Sheffield Wednesday trio of Peter Swan, David Layne and Tony Kay for match fixing in the 1960s.

Political allegiance

The paper was originally created with a pro-Labour stance. [4]

In 2014 ahead of the Scottish independence referendum the Scottish edition named the "Daily Star of Scotland" printed articles in support of the Better Together campaign. [20]

In a retrospective of the newspaper in 2018, journalist and former features editor at the Daily Star Roy Greenslade described the publication under the ownership of Richard Desmond as being "a newspaper without either news or views. If it can be said to have any political outlook at all, then it is rightwing. There is no passion, no commitment, no soul." [4]

Since being taken over by Reach in 2018 and under the editorship of Jon Clark, the publication has taken a more humor focused direction, with Ian Burrell of the I newspaper describing the publication in 2020 as a "unlikely source of satire" contrasting it with the paper under the prior ownership of Richard Desmond, which he described as a "mostly a sordid product that objectified women and obsessed over reality TV." Jon Clark described the publications political position: [21]

We have no interest in whether you are a Tory or a Labour supporter but I want our elected leaders to do right by the electorate and they are not, they are lying to us. The best way to hold them to account is by taking the piss out of them. It’s hard to come back from being a figure of fun.

See also

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  13. https://am22.akamaized.net/tms/cnt/uploads/2010/07/gta-rothbury.jpg
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