November 17, 1970: Page 3 of The Sun goes topless for first time

By printing a nude photo of model Stephanie Rahn to celebrate the paper’s first birthday, The Sun editor Larry Lamb created an institution which has proved controversial ever since.

On November 17, 1970, The Sun newspaper went where other tabloids feared to tread by featuring a nude model on Page 3.

Following the lead of the Daily Mirror, The Sun had been featuring pictures of clothed women in suggestive poses on its pages since it had first become a tabloid under the new ownership of Rupert Murdoch in 1969.

But the appearance of the naked German model Stephanie Rahn broke new and controversial ground in newspaper publishing. The 20-year-old was pictured sitting in a field, shot from a side angle so that one of her breasts could be seen.

To avoid castigation, editor Larry Lamb explained that Ms Rahn was appearing in her ‘birthday suit’ to celebrate the paper’s first anniversary in its compact form.

Page 3 stars. Clockwise from top left: Linda Lusardi, Samantha Fox, Vivienne Neves, Melinda Messenger

The paper would go on to feature more overt topless shots on Page 3, claiming they were at least part of the reason for it becoming the most popular daily newspaper in the country and making stars of topless models such as Samantha Fox, Linda Lusardi, Melinda Messenger and Vivienne Neves.

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Ms Rahn herself appeared on Page 3 several more times in the 70s under the name Stephanie Marrian, and played a number of small roles on television and in films into the 1980s.

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