Desmond's Upstart Star Twinkles as Old UK Stars Wane

08 September 2003

The Daily Star, fastest growing orb in the privately-owned UK tabloid firmament of pornographer Richard Desmond, continued its upward orbit in August, rising month on month by 1.75% to 928,710, a year-on-year increase of 23.18%, and in sight of its one million sales target.

Premier-league tabloids The Sun and The Mirror both fell year on year by 4.84% and 5.85% respectively, although the latter managed to haul itself back over the psychologically important two million Rubicon with a 2.33% rise to 2,000,901 – a feat more impressive than it may seem as it was achieved without the questionable benefit of bulk sales.

The Sun also improved marginally on July’s sales with a 0.82% increase, taking its circulation to an unassailable 3,550,489. The Daily Mail was down 0.37% on July to 2,456,498; while another filly from the Desmond stable, The Express, passed the 1m mark (this time in the right direction) with month-on-month growth of 5.11% to 1,015,326.

Gloom, however, pervaded the daily broadsheet sector, with all titles except the Daily Telegraph down year on year and month on month. The latter, which leads the UK tabloid market by a substantial margin, edged up 0.79% on July's figure to post ABC sales of 929,060 – although plunging year-on-year by 7.35%.

The Times fell 0.51% on July to 629,815, a 7.04% fall over the year. The news was also bad for the Financial Times, down 5.3% month on month and 5.62% year-on-year to 414,720. The Guardian was down 1.34% to 380,522 while The Independent went without mention for reasons unstated.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff