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Saturday, 25 February 2012

First edition of Sun on Sunday set to be printed

Wasif Chudhary

The Sun on Sunday is to be printed later, ready to hit Britain's streets for the first time.

About three million copies are expected to be printed at Broxbourne Newsprinters in Hertfordshire.

An article in Saturday's Sun describes a "stunning line-up of columnists" for the new paper, including model Katie Price and chef Heston Blumenthal.

News International closed its Sunday paper, the News of the World, last year amid the scandal over phone hacking.

The editor of the weekly edition of the Sun, Dominic Mohan, will also be in charge of the new Sunday edition.

Under the headline "the Sun will come out tomorrow", Saturday's paper described the launch of the 50p title as a "brilliant new era for the Sun".

It said it would be launched with a TV advert later on Saturday, featuring readers from Edinburgh, London, Dublin and Manchester singing lines from the song Tomorrow from the musical Annie.

Marketing director Robin Painter said: "It shows how excited the great British public are about the new Sunday edition of the Sun."

'Old favourites'
Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, "fashion expert" Nancy Dell'Olio, political writer Toby Young, along with Price and Blumenthal will also be columnists on the paper, it said.

The paper will also feature "old favourites" such as Dear Deidre, Mystic Meg, Bizarre and TV Biz, it added.

The Sun said "thousands of copies" had been ordered for British forces overseas, which will be flown to bases in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Copies will also be flown to the Falkland Islands, it said.

Media commentator Steve Hewlett said the new enterprise was likely to be a commercial success.

"The News of the World used to sell 2.6 million copies or thereabouts. When they closed it 1.3 million ended up with other newspapers, the Mirror being the primary beneficiary, but the Star and the People (benefited) as well. But 1.3 million disappeared," he told the BBC News Channel.

"The Sun starts from a position of being the biggest selling daily tabloid - 2.7 million copies sold a day and a readership of six to seven million - so from that platform, if the Sun get the package right, it ought to work."

Mr Hewlett described the move to launch the title as a "weekend's welcome distraction" for News International chief executive Rupert Murdoch, amid the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics and police investigation into phone hacking.

The probe has led to 30 arrests so far, among them 10 current and former senior staff at the Sun.

Mr Murdoch tweeted on Friday: "The Sun: great speculation, sweeps, etc on Sunday's sale. I will be very happy at anything substantially over two million!"

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