The Most Popular British Newspapers


Sometimes, the most relaxing part of your week is waking up late on a Sunday morning, pouring a cup of coffee, and lounging on your couch with the newspaper. In the United Kingdom, keeping up-to-date with the latest breaking news can seem like a daunting task these days – did we mention Brexit, Boris Johnson, second Covid strain, etc?

To stay in the loop and find out the latest and greatest (and not so great) from your beloved English cottage, there are a few newspapers that stand out among the rest. Let’s see the most popular British newspapers in terms of rankings and circulation in the great country of Great Britain. 

The Sun

The Sun – By By Which? Press Office – Gareth Shaw at The Sun, CC BY-SA 2.0,

If you are a sucker tabloid stories, shocking news on celebrity engagements, fake pregnancies, and all of the scandals, The Sun is the paper for you. Founded in 1964 as the successor to the Daily Herald, the sun is considered to be a right-wing, Conservative, and Euro-sceptic newspaper. 

Dominating the circulation figures across the entire United Kingdom since the late 1970s, The Sun seems to be selling an average of 1.16 million copies per week. Although this is fewer than the year before, it remains the biggest-selling paid-for-paper publication in the nation. 

Daily Mail

The Daily Mail – By By Source, Fair use,

A newspaper with slightly-more class and tact, the Daily Mail is a British middle-market newspaper published in London, keeping the ever-popular tabloid format. Launched with English, Scottish, and Irish editions, the paper is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust.

The average age of readers is just below 60 years old – as you can probably infer, the Daily Mail is for parents, grandparents, and old-at-heart millenials who want a “refined” take on the latest gossip. With the lowest demographic for 15 to 44-year-olds among the British dailies, the Daily Mail really resonates with the every day office go-er or stay-at-home Nan. 

Daily Mirror

Daily Mirror Logo – By By Unknown author –, Public Domain,

Founded in 1903, the Daily Mirror is another tabloid newspaper that focuses on tabloid-style journalism, a popular style of sensationalist news that stretches the truth – and captures the attention span of readers.

Originally intended to be a middle-class paper like the Daily Mail, the Mirror instead focuses on what it is good at – supporting the Labour Party and earning the trust and respect of England’s working class.

The Guardian

The Guardian – By By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,

The Guardian is a newspaper founded in 1821 that focuses on centre-left stances and gaining dedicated readers from the mainstream left of the British political spectrum. Geared towards social liberal and left-wing readers, the Guardian reiterates their stances on social equality and egalitarianism.

The Guardian works together with The Observer, the online-version of the infamous newspaper, to provide free access to current news and three million ‘old’ stories. With the ability to digest the latest news in tactile format or while pretending to get work done at the office, The Guardian is a widely-received publication in the United Kingdom. 

The Independent

Photojournalists photographing Barack Obama – By By Pete Souza – White House (P112113PS-0521), Public Domain,

First established in 1986 as a national morning-printed paper, The Independent has kept up with the times and switched to an all-online format – something that could prove to be quite handy when the masses go back to pounding away at their keyboards and staring at their screens when office work resumes. 

This paper focuses on Liberalism, supporting liberal political parties with positive representation in the media. In July of 2015, The Independent had an average circulation of just below 58,000 readers, coming in the top 5 in terms of readers and circulation. 

Named the ‘National Newspaper of the Year’ in 2004, The Independent is a highly-regarded source of news that has won other awards, such as the ‘Political Journalist of the Year’ in 2005, ‘Sports Journalist of the Year’ in 2010, and ‘Interviewer of the Year’ in 2007 and 2011.

Daily Express

Daily Express – By By Source, Fair use,

Coming in at #6 in terms of popularity and publication numbers in the UK, the Daily Express is a middle-market tabloid newspaper that is less-popular than the Daily Mail. Often aligned with the UK Independence Party, a right-wing populist party, and other right-wing factions, this hierarchical paper has a select group of dedicated readers. 


Metro Free Newspaper – By By Oxyman, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Metro is the United Kingdom’s highest-circulating print newspaper – even if it is not the most widely-digested. Published in tabloid format, the newspaper is FREE and distributed from Monday to Friday. Known as a source of news that is accessible to all, it doesn’t always give the most credible or truthful information. However, this is the price to pay for any British resident to pick up the paper and read a few bits on the way to work.

Owned by the Daily Mail, Metro is known to be a sister to its’ conservative partner, although it has never clearly stated or endorsed any political party or candidate in the paper. 

So – which paper are you reading on your lazy Sunday morning?

The choice is yours. Do you want a paper that supports your political views, or a publication that keeps a neutral stance? The UK is no stranger to tabloid-style papers, a foolproof way to keep the reader’s attention and feed them engaging and interesting stories – even if they are mostly fabricated. 

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