‘World exclusive’ referendum story splashes first issue of Scottish Sun on Sunday

A ‘WORLD exclusive’ about the actual day of the upcoming independence referendum in two years’ time shares top billing on the front page of the Scottish edition of The Sun on Sunday.

Reveals Scottish political editor, Andrew Nicoll, it’s to be October 18: a Saturday.

The other splash is that run in the English edition: celebrity, Amanda Holden, almost dying – her heart stopping for 40 seconds – while giving birth.

And overall, readers will find that the paper is an extension of The Sun – including Scot, Gordon Smart’s Bizarre column, and many familiar Sun names in the sports section – rather than an attempt to recreate its sister title, the News of the World, which was closed in July amid allegations of phone-hacking.

It was a point made in On the Andrew Marr Show today, on BBC1, by former Sun editor, Kelvin MacKenzie, who said the new paper “is not trying to be a News of the World”.

Today’s newspaper features, among other things, two separate items involving BBC Scotland newsreaders. First, Catriona Shearer, in her new column, writes about Marie Colvin, the Sunday Times war correspondent, who died on Wednesday while reporting from Syria. She begins: “This week, journalism for me isn’t about my stories, my outfit or the launch of a new Sunday newspaper – it’s about the power of information.”

She later writes: “As a journalist working in Scotland, I can’t relate to Marie’s dogged pursuit of reporting the travesties of war – of risking your life daily to highlight atrocities that otherwise would go unreported,” adding a few paragraphs on: “I’m not saying job losses [in Scotland] don’t affect us or that we don’t have families living in poverty or under threat of violence here, but Marie was a window into another world, of a different kind of pain and heartache.”

Second, Jackie Bird is reported making her debut on the BBC Scotland soap, River City – on Tuesday, playing herself, along with colleague, James Cook, in a storyline about a missing schoolgirl which has her parents making a TV appeal for her safe return.