Tony Douglas battles with icy winds to check out the new-look Sunday
As I struggled through the biting wind to my village shop, I was praying
that they’d still have a copy of the ‘new’ Sunday Express. I was in for
a long walk if they didn’t. They didn’t. Lots of Mail on Sunday, but no
Sunday Express. I enquired nervously at the counter. ‘Oh yes,’ the
newsagent said, ‘we’ve got plenty. Over there.’ And, sure enough, it
wasn’t two piles of the Mail - one was indeed the ‘new’ Sunday Express.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it’s a
In fact, though, on closer inspection, I decided that the Express had
upstaged the Mail. Similar design but clearer, cleaner and less garish.
And it managed to avoid any reference to either Di or Fergie on its
Instead, there was an ‘exclusive’ about a mentally handicapped girl
whose celebrity father had taken out a court order preventing her from
being identified and from personally publicising the revolutionary and
successful treatment she had received in Israel. Strong stuff and worthy
of the five pages devoted to it.
So what else was in store for us? Quite a few old stories - Enid
Blyton’s tax problems, Steve Forbes’s tax plans and, of course, the
continuing saga of little Sarah Cook and her Turkish delight. Thank
heavens for the bitchy Julie Burchill, claiming that the only reason
Sarah feels so happy in Turkey is that she has to cover up her plain
features and dumpy body.
There was new stuff, too. The Queen in a sexy montage wearing a little
black number. Patric Walker still making predictions from the other side
and a scoop on Big Jack saying he ‘couldn’t say no to England if the
call came’. Maybe it will, Jack. But, best of all, despite its new look,
its splendid use of serif typefaces and its neat layout, it was good to
see that something of the old Express remains. Where else would you find
an ad for hip and bottom pads so that ‘you too can achieve that sexy
wiggle’? Plus ca change.
Tony Douglas is the former joint chairman of D’Arcy Masius Benton and
Bowles, which handles the Daily Express