"The Sun readers don't care who runs the country, as long as she's got big tits."A British newspaper trope, basically involving the gratuitous placing of pictures of semi-naked people in a newspaper. Of course, when we say "people" we really mean "young attractive women." (The Sun briefly had a Page Seven Fella in The '80s, but it didn't last.) The most famous (or infamous) example is The Sun and its "Page Three Girls", one of whom poses topless on the third page of each day's issue (unless something big and tragic has happened, in which case she is pushed back to Page Five—or to Page Seven, if it's a REALLY big newsworthy catastrophe). There's some quote from them on an issue of the day — in which, by extraordinary coincidence, they invariably agree with the Sun's right-wing editorial stance. Some of the "models" used to be as young as 16 until the law was changed.
— Bernard Woolley, Yes, Minister
- The current editor of The Daily Star by the way, is a woman, and a straight woman at that (which was also the case at The Sun from 2003 to 2009). Interpret that at your leisure. (Hint: Sex Sells.)
- This became infamous when one of the tabloids ran a story about something involving a young girl in a sexual relationship... right next to the 16-years-old page 3 model.
- The Star also became infamous when, at the height of the Real Life early 2000s Pædo Hunt in Britain, it printed a self-righteous and pious condemnation of Chris Morris' Brass Eye satire of the moral panic around paedophilia... directly opposite from a "Page 3"-style article which leeringly discussed the large breasts of 15-year-old singer Charlotte Church◊.
- It's cold — here's one to warm you up.
- It's warm — so she's topless to beat the heat!
- The national side have a big match on — here's one to show them our support.
- Two, surely?
- Bear in mind that the chances of the players actually seeing said pics pre-match are rather low. One, because of the Day Delay. Two, no self-respecting national manager wishing to enforce a "no sex before a match" rule is going to let them near one. Three, the WAGs (Wives And Girlfriends) are going to have something to say about their men ogling Jenny from Jarrow — your average Page Three Girl rarely gets the dignity of a surname in the paper.
- We've won — tops off time!
- We've lost — let's cheer everyone up.
- There's an election on — let's get three models to represent the three big parties and have the appropriate one remove her top depending on who "won" the previous day.
- The Sun did precisely this in 2005.
- Incidentally, in the 2010 General Election in the UK, the Sun threatened that if the Tories didn't win, they would stop making page three girls.
- But they didn't win... not properly anyway.
- The Sun did precisely this in 2005.
- Not any more. The Page 3 website is effectively defunct as of the end of March 2017. The site is still there, but no new photos have been added since March 29th. There has not been an official announcement, but enquirers have apparently been told that there will be no more. Those models who were being featured right up to the end are now described in the paper as "former" Page 3 girls.
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- A subtle reference appears in Ultimate X-Men. Jean boasts that she and Storm made pages one, two and three of Britain's biggest-selling paper, while holding up a copy of The Sun. Main Headline — "X-Babes Smash Real IRA Plot".
- In Good Omens, Newton Pulsifer had to count the nipples of each model, in his role as a witchfinder.
- One of the Discworld books mention the use of these, and suggest a picture of a Goddess to be moved to page three, because she's wearing half a toga..
- Filth. Bruce often takes a copy of the Sun to the bathroom for some alone time.
Live Action TV
- Sugar Walls a.k.a. Sharon LaHughes from Gimme, Gimme, Gimme is famous for being a celebrity that poses in her underwear and topless in newspapers (although not named, you can guess after reading this page what some of those newspapers were). Tom and Linda (secretly, her older sister) are disgusted by it and slut shame her behind her back.
- The Muppet Show, while ostensibly an American program, was actually filmed in the UK and includes a subtle reference to this in the George Burns episode. As part of an "ambush interview", gossip columnist Fleet Scribbler mentions to Miss Piggy that his paper was thinking of doing a photo spread of her, "something for Page 3". Needless to say, that joke was probably lost on the American audience.
- One appears in Waterloo Road as a former pupil of the school.
- Whatever It Takes is an average ITV one-off drama about a trainee police officer who gets caught having sex with a footballer and becomes one of these, suffering the full effects of celebrity. She is "replaced" by another one, oddly enough played by an actress who had been in Waterloo Road.
- This song from A Bit of Fry and Laurie describes the life of a page 3 model, through to her marriage to a pop star.
- The Rupert Murdoch Wonderful Life sketch has Murdoch comment that "You need tits to sell a newspaper" after opening a newspaper in a world where he'd never been born and finding that page three is just more news.
- From the Yes Prime Minister episode "A Conflict of Interest":
Hacker: The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by people who actually do run the country; the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; the Financial Times is read by people who own the country; The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country; and The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.Humphrey: Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?Bernard: Sun readers don't care who runs the country, as long as she's got big tits.
- this is something of a Dead Horse Trope ; the various references being to the then-considerable role of organised Trades Unions in Party politics (Daily Mirror) and the influence, or otherwise of the USSR (Daily Telegraph)
- Also referenced in an episode where Hacker's daughter is threatening a nude protest over endangered wildlife. He laments that the stunt will get her onto the front page of the paper — "and probably page three as well".
- In The West Wing episode "Enemies Foreign and Domestic," there was a reporter at the White House who worked for a Russian newspaper, asking for press credentials because her work was brutally censored by the Russian government. She told this to Toby in a way that made it appear that she was some heroic, intrepid Lois Lane-style muckraker for daring to criticize an oppressive government... but she was actually censored because she ran one of these newspapers, who not only had naked women on every page, but also engaged in putrid yellow journalism, posting and mocking the high school grades of the children of government officials and such. Toby gives her the credentials but viciously lambastes her and wonders how she can waste what little wiggle room her country gives her with regard to freedom of the press on such trash.
- In The Vicar of Dibley, Owen photographs Brenda the barmaid as one for the village newsletter. She's 65. Exaggerated Trope as he also includes a "Page 4 girl" (her mother) and a "Page 5 girl" (her aunt's mother, who has recently died).
- Australian comedy series Fast Forward had a spoof where media mogul Rupert Murdoch takes over the Daily Planet, promising "Page 3 girls on every page!"
- Being a parody of sensationalistic tabloid papers, the Weekly World News featured a "Page 5 Girl".
- Mentioned in the Tom Robinson Band song "(Sing If You're) Glad to be Gay":
Pictures of naked young women are fun
In Titbits and Playboy, Page Three of the Sun
There's no nudes in Gay News or One magazine
But they still find excuses to call it obscene
- The Beatles' "Polythene Pam", most likely — "She's the kind of a girl that makes The News Of The World, yes, you could say she was attractively built"
- Fall Out Boy's 'Thnks Fr Th Mmrs" has the lines "I only think in form of crunching numbers/In hotel rooms/Collecting Page Six lovers."
- Referred to in Elvis Costello's "Welcome to the Working Week" from My Aim Is True:
- Rock Star Ate My Hamster has The Stun, whose in-game representation pictures a topless girl on the front page when the top story isn't about a rock star. Issues also occasionally advertise a contest to win a night out with a Page 3 girl.