Often overlooked in the discussion of Scottish newspapers, the grandly-titled Daily Star of Scotland out-sells its stablemate, the Scottish Daily Express, as well all but three other titles. And as it proudly proclaims on its front page, at 25p, it is five pence cheaper than The Sun.
And in the tabloid stakes, it comes out on top this morning by trumpeting its exclusive on the latest twist in the tiresome but inexplicably popular soap opera of Peter Andre and Katie ‘Jordan’ Price. The pair had a secret date at a ‘swanky’ hotel.
Much of the Star’s Scottish content is shared with the Express, no surprise for two titles with modest staffing – and budget – north of the border. And also much of its content is for those interested in UK-wide stories.
Page two has the first tartan ‘opt-out’ with news that the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow could bring a rise in sex trafficking. Skip past the inevitable X Factor inquests and the hunt for the Euromillions' winners and you arrive at page nine for the next Caledonian tale, about an assault on a Celtic footballer.
It’s celebs that the Star trades on, with a solid middle section on the world of the rich and famous. Its money section is also surprisingly accessible. For other Scottish content, there's a Highland wedding for Take That singer, Mark Owen, and a story of a polar bear enclosure in Inverness-shire. Page 20 reports a career update for Scots-born newsreader, Isla Traquair, and on the same page, a race-hate court story from Glasgow. Arguably, the best tartan tale is buried on page 25, uncovering a convicted murderer who received compensation after being bitten by a prison officer.
At the back, Express stalwarts, Scott Burns and Gary Keown, look like the hardest-working men in show business with Scottish football forming the largest differential between the Scottish edition of the Star and its UK counterpart. There’s a plea for the League Cup semi-finals to be played at Hampden and changes to the Scotland squad. All hitting the back of the net.