Daily Star
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Reach plc
PublisherReach plc
EditorJon Clark
Founded2 November 1978; 45 years ago (1978-11-02)
Political alignmentLabour (historical)
Politically neutral (current)
HeadquartersCanary Wharf
London, E14
United Kingdom
Circulation132,979 (as of January 2024)[1]

The Daily Star is a tabloid newspaper published from Monday to Saturday in the United Kingdom since 1978. In 2002, a sister Sunday edition, Daily Star Sunday was launched with a separate staff. In 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 has predominantly focused on stories revolving around celebrities, sport, and news/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 Northern & Shell, and sold to Reach plc in 2018.[4]

Regular features

For over 40 years, the newspaper regularly featured a photograph of a topless glamour model (called a "Star Babe") on weekdays, in a similar vein to The Sun's former Page 3 feature. The feature discovered some well-known models, most notably Rachel Ter Horst in 1993 and Lucy Pinder in 2003. In April 2019, the paper claimed it changed from publishing topless models on its third page to publishing clothed glamour images. It also claimed it was the last mainstream British tabloid to discontinue the tradition of printing topless images, after The Sun ended its own Page 3 feature in 2015.[5] 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] In October 2002, it was reported that this action had been settled with an out of court payment of £1.5 million by Archer.[8]

Hillsborough disaster

On 18 April 1989, three days after the Hillsborough disaster in which 97 Liverpool 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 coverage by The Sun — particularly a front-page article on 19 April — that caused the most controversy. A later inquiry showed all of the claims made were false.[9]

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.[10] 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".[11]

Volcanic ash front page

On 21 April 2010, in the aftermath of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, the Star published 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.[12] 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.[13]

Grand Theft Auto Rothbury

On 21 July 2010, the paper ran a story[14] 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[15] 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!".[16]

Richard Peppiatt resignation

In March 2011, reporter Richard Peppiatt quit the Daily Star after accusing them of Islamophobic and pro-English Defence League coverage: "The lies of a newspaper in London can get a bloke's head caved-in down an alley in Bradford". He admitted to writing false stories about celebrities and alleged they were ordered by superiors.[17] All of his allegations were denied by the newspaper.[18]

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson interview fabrication

On 11 January 2019, the paper published a front-page article,[19] 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.[20][21]

Publicity stunts

Liz Truss lettuce

Main article: Daily Star lettuce

On 14 October 2022, the Daily Star set up a livestream on whether or not Liz Truss's premiership would outlast the ten-day shelf life of a lettuce, after The Economist described her as having "the shelf-life of a lettuce" amidst a government crisis.[22] When Truss announced her resignation six days later on 20 October, it was played on the stream followed by "God Save the King" and celebratory music, declaring that "the lettuce outlasted Liz Truss".[23][24]


Political allegiance

The paper was originally created with a pro-Labour stance.[4] Ahead of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the Scottish edition named the Daily Star of Scotland printed articles in support of the Better Together campaign.[26] In a retrospective of the newspaper in 2018, journalist and former Daily Star features editor 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 humour-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 Desmond, which he described as a "mostly a sordid product that objectified women and obsessed over reality TV". Clark described the publication's political position thus: "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."[27]

See also


  1. ^ 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.


  1. ^ "Daily Star". Audit Bureau of Circulations. 13 February 2024. Retrieved 2 March 2024.
  2. ^ "All change as Daily Express and Daily Star editors leave following Trinity Mirror buyout". March 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Red-top papers prepare for marketing war". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Greenslade, Roy (28 October 2018). "Fallen Star: how the tabloid with dreams of being a leftwing Sun fell from grace". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  5. ^ "Daily Star covers up its Page 3 girls, signalling end of tabloid tradition. However the paper has continued into 2023 to print images of young women in scanty clothing with breasts barely concealed, on Page 3". The Guardian. 12 April 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  6. ^ David Lister (16 January 2001). "Desmond gets his chequebook out for the lads". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 14 July 2010.[dead link]
  7. ^ Raphael, Adam (1989). My Learned Friends: an Insider's View of the Jeffrey Archer Case and Other Notorious Actions. ISBN 978-1-85227-094-0.
  8. ^ Hall, Sarah (2 October 2002). "Archer pays back libel award in £1.5m settlement with Star". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  9. ^ "The Immediate Aftermath – The Media Reaction – Hillsborough Football Disaster". Contrast.org. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Damages due over McCann stories". BBC News. 18 March 2008.
  11. ^ "Kate & Gerry McCann: Sorry". Daily Star (United Kingdom). 19 March 2008.
  12. ^ The lead stated: "Exclusive: This is the moment a British Airways jumbo jet hit a cloud of volcanic ash at 37,000ft. Yet last night all UK airports finally reopened, in spite of the ash cloud." The full story was published on page six. See: "Wall, Emma (21 April 2010). "Drama as airlines fly again". Daily Star (United Kingdom). p. 6. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  13. ^ Plunkett, John (21 April 2010). "Daily Star pulled from airports over volcano ash splash". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  14. ^ "Raoul Moat: Video game, film and book plans cause fury". Archived from the original on 12 November 2020.
  15. ^ "Rockstar Games – Grand Theft Auto – An apology". Daily Star (United Kingdom). 26 July 2010. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Journalist defends GTA: Raoul Moat story | MCV". Mcvuk.com. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  17. ^ Lewis, Paul (4 March 2011). "Daily Star reporter quits in protest at tabloid's 'anti-Muslim' coverage". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  18. ^ "Ex-Daily Star reporter Richard Peppiatt on quitting and criticising the newspaper". BBC News. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  19. ^ "The Rock hits out at snowflakes: Movie star Dwayne Johnson rages | Daily Star". 11 January 2019. Archived from the original on 11 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  20. ^ "'Completely untrue, 100% fabricated': The Rock says interview where he reportedly said 'snowflake generation' was too easily offended never took place". Business Insider. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  21. ^ Waterson, Jim (12 January 2019). "The Rock says Daily Star fabricated 'snowflake' criticism". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Liz Truss has made Britain a riskier bet for bond investors". The Economist. Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  23. ^ Victor, Daniel (19 October 2022). "The Lettuce Outlasts Liz Truss". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  24. ^ "Our lettuce outlasted Liz Truss, British paper declares, as PM quits". Reuters. 20 October 2022. Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  25. ^ Dennis Griffiths (ed.) The Encyclopedia of the British Press, 1422–1992, London & Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1992, p.334
  26. ^ "Which political parties do the newspapers support? – Business & Money". Supanet.com. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  27. ^ Burrell, Ian (4 October 2020). "Daily Star's resurgence is down to a new satirical edge". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 13 November 2020.