Channel 4 has ordered a new documentary from Optomen that will chart the rise and fall of the notorious institution of Page Three.

2020 marks fifty years since the first appearance of The Sun’s Page Three girl. One-off documentary, Page Three, will reveal the stories of the young women who appeared on the controversial page, and how their life changed, sometimes overnight, by appearing topless in a national paper.

From the experiences of early Page Three ‘stunnas’ and close friends Jilly Johnson and Nina Carter to the cautionary tales of a 16 year old Samantha Fox and Rhian Sugden’s emotional testimony about what ended her lucrative career, each model has their own unique story to share about their time in their limelight.

Glamour photographer Jeany Savage also recalls the day an 18 year old Katie Price came into see her and former Page Three girl Emma Morgan talks of the time she became the subject of an undercover sting that ended her career.

Originally introduced by The Sun as ‘a bit of fun,’ Page Three became a symbol of the paper’s relentless populism as it grew to become the highest selling newspaper in Britain. In 2015, Page Three was quietly retired from the paper.

The film also features commentary from anti-Page Three campaigner Lucy-Anne Holmes and former Labour MP Clare Short who in 1986 introduced a Private Members Bill which proposed banning photographs of topless models in tabloid newspapers.

Becky Cadman, Commissioning Editor for Channel 4 said, “Page Three was about a lot more than just naked breasts. Whether you’re of the opinion it objectifies and exploits women or think it’s a woman’s prerogative to go topless in a tabloid newspaper, it’s fascinating to hear first-hand from so many who’ve been there. Sharing their emotional testimony about the money, fame, affairs and undercover stings this documentary charts the rise and fall of some of the biggest names in Page Three.”

Tina Flintoff and Nick Hornby, Co-CEOs of Optomen Television added, “With tabloid circulations at an all-time low, PAGE THREE takes us back to the giddy heights of the red-tops’ power, telling the personal stories of the models involved and the bigger story of the rise and fall of a cultural institution.”

PAGE THREE (1 x 60’) was commissioned by Becky Cadman, Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment at Channel 4. It is an Optomen Television production, the Executive Producer is Anna Edwinson and the director is Toby Trackman.

Jon Creamer

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