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Tuesday 25th June 2013 | 14:47
Today marks the end of an era, at least in newspaper terms.
For the long-running News In Briefs section of Page 3 of the Sun (it's been going since 2003) is, I can report, no more.
The section was missing from today's paper, now under a new editor, and I understand there are no plans to resurrect it.
Several Tory MPs are already in mourning. The party's popular 'Breakfast Club' of MPs (which numbers ministers as well as backbenchers) has a tradition whereby the newest member of the club has to read out the News in Briefs every day. The newbie has to read out the entry in the voice of the Page 3 girl in question.
One MP texted today three shocked letters on hearing of the culling of their favourite bit of the paper: "OMG".
So, yesterday's entry (pictured above for, ahem, posterity), now reads like an historic last hurrah:
"Kelly has high hopes for Andy Murray at Wimbledon after his heartache last year. She said: 'As Muhammad Ali observed, 'Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win'.""
From thoughts about the Iraq war to public spending, the girls were rigorously on message with the paper's editorials. Often, they covered politics, which is why they had a following in Parliament. As a prime example, here's Becky's take in 2010 on the thorny issue of electoral reform:
But fans of the Sun need not worry too much: there are no plans to axe Page 3 itself. Although the models have lost their voices (and wise thoughts), the looks will continue.
Those MPs who want to see its total demise (including Green party MP Caroline Lucas, who sported a No Page 3 shirt in PMQs) look like they will be disappointed.
As David Cameron made clear recently, there are no plans to ban the paper from Westminster. The Breakfast Club, along with other MPs, will continue to get their daily supply - albeit without the topical aphorisms.
I wonder if the Prince of Wales has been told of today's change? The Sun reported in 2010 how Charles loved the News In Briefs thoughts of Page 3 girl Danni about his architectural beliefs. The heir to the throne was quoted as saying:
“I’m so glad Page 3 girls are interested in my views. I roared with laughter when I read it. We should arrange a reception with the Page 3 girls.”
Will Charles now start a one-man lobbying campaign to get News In Briefs resurrected? Maybe one of his famous hand-written letters is winging its way to Wapping. Along with private missives from Tory MPs...
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