Tony Douglas battles with icy winds to check out the new-look Sunday Express

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

dangerous game.

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

front cover.

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