CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 99 – Diary of a Self-Isolator 22.5.2020 BLOG 24th June 2020

CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 99 – Diary of a Self-Isolator Monday 22nd June 2020

After 42 years as the UK’s best-selling newspaper, the Sun has lost its title to the Daily Mail.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid had been the nation’s most popular newspaper since 1978, spawning such memorable splash headlines as “Freddie Starr ate my hamster”, “Gotcha!”, and “It’s The Sun Wot Won It” – the 1992 front page taking credit for the Conservatives’ unexpected general election victory.

The Daily Mail, which had been steadily closing the sales gap in recent years, overtook the Sun in May, according to the latest official figures.

The Daily Mail sold 980,000 copies a day on average last month, and the Mail on Sunday sold 878,000 a week, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations figures published on Friday.

Last month News UK, the parent company of the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, and the Times, stopped making its official sales figures publicly available. However, the publisher’s figures are still made privately available to the industry each month and the Guardian understands that the Sun and the Sun on Sunday reported lower sales than the Mail titles in May.

In March – the most recent publicly available figures for the Sun – the 55p tabloid sold an average of 1.13m copies a day. It also distributed a further 66,800 copies for free pick-up at airports and train stations. The Mail, which does not distribute free copies and is priced at 70p, is understood to have bigger paid-for sales than the Sun’s combined paid and free circulation.

“I am immensely proud and delighted that the Daily Mail has become Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper, an historic moment in our history,” said Geordie Greig, editor of the Daily Mail.

The Sun’s March sales were down 11% year on year – more than twice the 5% decline recorded by the Daily Mail.

It is understood that as well as the paid-for sales decline, the Sun has been affected by a significant drop in free distribution as airlines were grounded and the UK went into lockdown.

When it launched in 1964, the Sun was the fourth-biggest newspaper behind the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Mail. The paper went tabloid after Murdoch acquired it in 1969, eventually overtaking the Mirror as the UK’s best-selling newspaper in 1977.

A spokesperson for the Sun said: “We care most about the measurement that reflects our readers and our industry in 2020. The latest PAMCo data – the best measure of total brand audience across print and digital – shows record reach for the Sun. We engage 39.8 million people monthly, fuelled by our agenda-setting journalism and exclusives, and underlining our position as the UK’s biggest and most popular newsbrand.”

ABCs: National newspapers show signs of recovery from Covid-19 circulation slump

UK newspapers on sale during the lockdown

Most UK national newspapers began to recover in May after their circulations were hit hard by the first five weeks of Covid-19 lockdown.

The Financial Times was the only paid-for publication (of those who still opt into public ABC reporting) that saw its circulation continue to fall, dropping by 11% month-on-month.

The free Metro, which has continued printing a smaller run for key workers commuting throughout lockdown, reduced its distribution by a further 20% since April to 317,580.

By contrast the Evening Standard increased its run by 7% to 454,056.

The Observer saw the greatest boost in May, growing 10% month-on-month to a circulation of 142,212. The Mail on Sunday saw growth of 5% to 878,467.

As of last month, UK national newspapers no longer have to make their print circulations public through ABC. News UK’s Sun and Times titles have already opted to keep theirs private.

ABC also ended its monthly circulation reports.

The Telegraph, which pulled out of ABC earlier this year, is focusing instead on subscriber figures. It reached 500,000 subscribers in the last week of May.

National newsbrand circulations in May 2020 (ABC):


Publication ABC circulation for May 2020 ABC circulation for April 2020 (from start of lockdown) and month-on-month % change ABC circulation for May 2019 and year-on-year % change  
Daily Mail 979,836 944981 (-4%) 1,181,023 (-17%)  
Mail on Sunday 878,467 836,743 (5%) 984,582 (-11%)  
Evening Standard (FREE) 454,056 423,285 (7%) 857,070 (-47%)  
Daily Mirror 371,902 363,082 (2%) 494,836 (-25%)  
Metro (FREE) 317,580 398,787 (-20%) 1,425,996 (-78%)  
Sunday Mirror 317,420 303,747 (5%) 406,326 (-22%)  
Daily Express 241,383 234,373 (3%) 308,581 (-22%)  
Sunday Express 224,972 217,915 (3%) 266,702 (-16%)  
Daily Star 223,727 219,275 (2%) 313,743 (-29%)  
Daily Star Sunday 147,357 144,251 (2%) 184,299 (-20%)  
The Observer 142,212 129,415 (10%) 158,426 (-10%)  
i 137,235 134,553 (2%) 229,791 (-40%)  
Sunday People 124,091 118,026 (5%) 154,524 (-20%)  
The Guardian 110,538 106,003 (4%) 132,793 (-17%)  
Financial Times 79,038 88,756 (-11%) 169,119 (-53%)  
Sunday Post 74,609 73,959 (1%) 96,717 (-23%)  








“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” — Buddha


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DAY 79        16 Times – 144 Feet Cumulative Total 11,943 Feet



Country                 Confirmed cases  Deaths

1              US                          2,347,022              121,228

2              Brazil                    1,145,906              52,645

3              UK                         307,682                 43,011

4              Italy                      238,833                 34,675

5              France                   191,860                 29,655

6              Spain                     246,752                 28,325

7              Mexico                 191,410                 23,377

8              India                     456,183                 14,476

9              Iran                       209,970                 9,863

10           Belgium                60,810                   9,713


Deaths in UK yesterday 280 Monday 15


Global cases         Updated 24 Jun at 07:49 local

Confirmed            9,154,232              +91,395

Deaths                   473,650                 +2,934

Recovered             4,585,022              +90,824



©2020 Phil M Robinson