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‘Freddie Starr ate my hamster’ crowned The Sun’s most iconic cover

To mark The Sun’s 50th birthday, the paper has asked its readers to vote for their favourite Sun front cover.

‘Freddie Starr ate my hamster’ crowned The Sun’s most iconic cover
Tony Gallagher: “The Sun is famous for serving up stunning front pages.”

One in five voted for 1986’s Freddie Starr ate my hamster, putting the iconic splash at the top of the list. Comedian Starr was said to have snacked on a live hamster in a sandwich, though he later denied it. The splash appeared on T-shirts and Starr called it “the greatest piece of publicity I’ve ever had.”

Tony Gallagher, editor of The Sun said: “The Sun is famous for serving up stunning front pages. We don’t just dish up the day’s news: we want to delight, amuse, surprise and inform, as well as grab people’s attention. After 50 years and nearly 16,000 editions, The Sun’s clever headlines, eye-catching splashes and agenda-setting scoops mean it remains Britain’s best-selling paper.”

The top ten are:

  1. 1986 - Freddie Starr ate my hamster - 21%

Comedian Starr was said to have snacked on a live hamster in a sandwich, though he later denied it. The splash appeared on T-shirts and Starr called it “the greatest piece of publicity I’ve ever had.”

  1. 1992 - If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights - 16%

With the 1992 General Election on a knife-edge, and Labour’s Neil Kinnock confident of becoming PM, The Sun made its position clear with this iconic front page.

  1. 2013 - The Son - 15%

The Sun marked the birth of the UK’s future King buy changing its masthead for the first and only time, to The Son. The Sun’s leader column said: ‘We’ve never changed The Sun’s name before and we’ll never do it again. But not many kings are born in anyone’s life time. It seems a fitting way to mark such a momentous event. So congratulations, William and Kate, from your No1 Sun – on your No1 son.’ 

  1. 1990 - Up yours Delors - 13%

In this 1990 front page, The Sun stuck two fingers up at Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission, who was pressing for ever-closer political integration between EU states.

  1. 2009 - Don’t you know there’s a bloody war on? - 11%

This front page features the faces of 207 dead British soldiers. It screamed at PM Gordon Brown and his Government to wake up to the reality of the savage war in Afghanistan. 

  1. 1998 - Zip me up before you go go - 9%

An award-winning headline after George Michael was arrested in Los Angeles for a lewd act in a public toilet. 

  1. 2006 - How do you solve a problem like Korea? - 6%

When despot Kim Jong-il carried out North Korea’s first nuke test, talent show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? was a TV hit.

  1. 2018 - Schadenfreude - 5%

When Germany were knocked out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia by South Korea…

  1. 2000 - I’m only here for De Beers - 3%

A diamond heist went spectacularly wrong at the Millenium Dome.

  1. 2010 - Sunny outlook in many areas but depression over Heathrow as shower drifts in from South Africa - 2%

Fabio Capello’s England crashed out of the 2010 World Cup after finishing as runners-up to the USA in a supposedly easy group, then getting hammered 4-1 by Germany in the Round of 16. The nation had expected more, says The Sun.