Paul Clarkson, (above) editor of The Irish Sun and Roy Greenslade, (top) media commentator and Guardian columnist discussed on Morning Ireland with Gavin Jennings the decision to omit topless shots from page 3.
It’s all a Protestant/Catholic thing, apparently.
Gavin Jennings: “When he says that “The Irish ain’t British” to quote you Paul and that there are cultural differences which are behind this decision, what do you understand by that?”
Roy Greenslade: “Well I can only think it’s a reference to ah religion em..”
Jennings: “Sorry, Paul is it?”
Greenslade: “It’s going to be very embarrassing in the Six Counties at the top of this country where there are lots and lots of people of a similar religion and they are still going to get Page 3 so I don’t know what the Sun is going to do about that? Em, it also is interesting isn’t it to suggest that em Protestants quite like having em Page 3 and Catholics don’t, rather interesting thing in the debate”
Jennings: “Paul, do you want to answer that?”
Paul Clarkson: “Well as I was trying to say it’s not really about religion. As I say, there is certainly a Catholic guilt in the Republic that people have grown up with but that’s only a small part…”
Jennings: “No Protestant guilt in the North, is that right?”
Clarkson: “No, but in the UK, especially our readers in Northern Ireland they’re very much more aligned to the UK paper and they actually are very, identify themselves strongly as British. As well, we’d have a much larger em sort of Protestant…”
Jennings: “So are you saying that strongly identifying yourself as British means that you’ve got less of a problem with topless pictures on Page 3, really?”
Clarkson: “Well, this is from talking to our readers. We’ve talked to our readers and in Ireland they do have a hangup and it’s part of what makes…Ireland Irish. They do have a problem with it and it’s certainly more prevalent in Ireland than it is in the UK where they very strongly, their readers have come out and say “We want page 3 to stay”.
Scroll to around 06:45.