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The Sun's head of PR apologises after Page 3 death threats

Dylan, 30-something, The Sun.

THIS WEEK THE Sun newspaper successfully trolled the entire UK by appearing to abolish, and then bring back Page 3.

Yesterday the newspaper published its first topless Page 3 model since last Friday. It was a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth, with the message:

Further to recent reports in all other media outlets, we would like to clarify that this is Page 3 and this is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth. We would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking about it.

Probably the most tongue-in-cheek apology of all time, right?

Now The Sun’s head of PR Dylan Sharpe has issued a personal apology after he said he received death threats for sending this tweet, in which he tagged journalists and commentators who had covered the story, and Labour MP Harriet Harman:

dylan Source: @DylSharpe

Sky News’s Kay Burley responded with:


While Roy Greenslade’s response was:


Sharpe released a lengthy statement, printed in full by Buzzfeed in which he explained his motive for sending the ‘winking’ tweet.

On the train to the office the next morning I decided it was time for a cheeky dig. Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth was winking – now I’d use that wink to make a none-so-subtle point about ignoring my warnings.

The ‘warnings’ Sharpe was referring to was the repeated ‘no comment’ he’d issued in response to speculation about the demise of Page 3.

He went on:

Someone with a lot of followers thought I’d done it to be nasty. “No,” thought I, “it’s funny. It’s not about the naked breasts (which had already been tweeted over 10,000 times by other Twitter users) it’s the wink. I am Nicole. I am the winker (you read that right), winking at the people who I had told the day before not to assume page 3 had gone.” But it was too late.

Sharpe says he received death threats and was told he was the “most vile person that had ever lived”.

He also said that he shouldn’t have included Harriet Harman in his tweet because she wasn’t involved. He said he included her in response to criticism of Page 3 from Labour HQ.

Sharpe finishes by sending an apology to all those he included in the tweet:

Guilty of gloating I most certainly am. Icarus has well and truly plummeted to earth. But I never meant to offend and I want to apologise to all those I @’ed in that tweet. It was supposed to be funny but clearly I misjudged that one. Now I see if Twitter can forgive as quickly as it can hate….

This morning he’s continuing to respond to criticism of the tweet, and criticism of his apology. Journalist Grace Dent calls it “gloating and drawing attention to his ‘banter’”, telling him “an apology is approximately 5 lines focusing on ‘an apology’”:


8 of the best reactions to The Sun trolling the entire UK>

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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