Monday 26 January 2015

Page 3 Escapes Extermination?

Happy New Year everyone! (Yes I know it’s almost February!) So The Sun has denied the rumour that it had dropped Page 3 from the paper, seems the story was nothing more than speculation and gossip (insert journalistic swipe here). Since its launch in 1970 Page 3 has made household names of the likes of Samantha Fox, Linda Lusardi, Melinda Messenger, Linsey Dawn McKenzie and Katie Price but as far as British ‘institutions’ go few have caused such unrest and divide in opinions. For over 40 years one half of the nation has regarded it a part of British life, an expression of freedom and a ‘leg-up’ for all aspiring models while others regarded it to be an outdated, chauvinistic demoralising exploiter of women... Growing up in 1980’s I knew all about Page 3 and by the age of ten I knew exactly who Samantha Fox, Maria Whittaker and Linda Lusardi were. But then we all did because even if you didn’t actually read the paper the models would appear on other publications, products or television programmes. During my art college days I would read The Sun. from time to time but this was during the Loaded and FHM magazine* uprising of the 1990’s when page 3 seemed more like a quaint tradition than an actual feature. So given the way things are these days one wonders how long the feature will actually go on for. Either way this is probably the only ‘excuse’ I will have to share this little ‘feature’ on the left of this post with you… During the ‘wilderness years’ of Doctor Who I collected various forms of memorabilia that featured Daleks which I regard to be one of the great British designs of the 20th century. Another rare thing was a newspaper article about Daleks, before the series returned Daleks only made occasional appearances in the papers but when it was revealed in 2004 that the Daleks would not be returning in the new series all that changed! It seemed that the BBC and Daleks’ creator Terry Nation’s estate could not reach an agreement over the terms of the use of the Daleks.
The Sun leapt on the story and ran a bring back the Daleks ‘campaign’ reminiscent of its ‘Save Doctor Who' campaign from 1985. The campaign even had its own ‘Sun Dalek’ which found itself on page 3 when the campaign was launched. The Sun clearly had a Who fan on staff, as the photo seems to be paying loose homage to the infamous Katy Manning Girl Illustrated photo shoot, when the former Third Doctor’s companion posed naked with a Dalek in 1977. An agreement was reached between BBC and Terry Nation’s estate and the Daleks returned to fight the Doctor in the new series in 2005. It was during this time that I discovered that The Sun offered readers the opportunity to purchase photographic prints from their Page 3 archives and that’s just what I did…
Anyway, changing the subject somewhat… you will recall my "Rules are made to be broken" painting that featured in last years Doctor's Universe’ art show at the Oratory of Saints Ambrogio in Milan. Well the ever talented Atlantisvampir has organised a follow up art show entitled, ‘Doctor’s Universe 2.0’ at the Spazio OPEN –BevacquaPanigai in Treviso, Italy. This international collective art exhibition features around 100 artist’s tributes to Doctor Who and will be running from the 26th of January to the 2nd of February for more information follow this link.

*UPDATE 09/01/2016: To answer the original, title question it would seem that Page 3 was in fact, ‘Exterminated’ after an absence of six days The Sun featured one more Page 3 feature on 22 January 2015, but this apparently was a one-off ‘revival’. Interestingly, two months after posting this and describing page 3 as a “quaint tradition” when compared to ‘Lads’ magsLoaded and FHM, Loaded announced that April 2015 was to be its final issue (alongside fellow men's magazine Nuts). Then in November FHM announced their intention to also suspend publication (alongside ZOO) after seeing a steep decline in sales. The slump in the market has apparently been attributed to the decline of a specific form of 'lad culture' and the easy availability of nudity and pornography on the Internet (i.e…

The Sun', 'Page 3' and 'Page Three' are registered trademarks. © Copyright News Group Newspaper Ltd, 2012 - All Rights Reserved. Daleks © registered trademarks. Copyright Terry Nation and the BBC. Everything else however, © Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.


  1. Russell T. Davies later revealed that he'd intended to use the Daleks all along and that he'd lied about not using them merely to stir up a bit of publicity. Considering that the Daleks were what ensured the programme's longevity, it would've been madness not to use them.

    1. Ah, he actually confessed to it did he? Being cynical I had a feeling that it was just a promotional gimmick at the time (they tried the same thing with rumours of not being able to obtain the rights to the original Who theme). If you watch the ‘making of’ series 1 dvd’s there is a moment when the Sun Daleks ‘interrupts’ filming on the streets of Cardiff…



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