News of the World final issue sees bumper sales

The final edition of the News of the World newspaper hit newsstands across the UK yesterday with the whimsical headline: "Thank you and goodbye".

Forgotten was the furore surrounding the phone hacking scandal, the animosity towards ex-NotW editor Rebekah Brooks, all hatred for the Murdoch clan and their imminent (and much-maligned) BSkyB takeover by News International. On Sunday, Brits flocked to newsagents and supermarkets in droves to buy the final issue, boosting the News of the World's circulation by around a 70% (usually 2.66 million).

The 168-year-old title has closed its pages, inked its last headline and aired its last scandal. In an extremely harsh move for the News of the World's current staff, the entire editorial team (most of whom joined long after any alleged wrongdoing took place) find themselves jobless and tarred with the NotW brush.

NotW political editor David Wooding said:"As one of my colleagues said today, never have the careers of so many been damaged by the actions of so few."

So what now? Let the war for the dead paper's circulation begin. Expect a bumper month of Sundays with deals and scoops galore as The Sun (a Sunday Sun is mooted), Mail on Sunday, Sunday Mirror and Sunday Express all vie to take up the slack.

Expect a flurry of revelations of further wrongdoing at the paper. Today alone, we hear that contact details for members of the Royal family were bought from the Royal Protection Office.

Murdoch's BSkyB bid is also in jeopardy. Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has written to media regulator Ofcom asking whether they still back his decision to support the deal. Ofcom has already launched an independent inquiry into the bid, so this seems unlikely. If the deal falls through, Murdoch will lose just short of £40m according the terms of his bid agreement.

Will the Press Complaints Commission be given increased powers to deal with journalistic wrongdoing? Will the politicians wade in with a raft of tighter regulation? Who knows. But the next month will certainly be an interesting one.

How do you think the NotW saga will unfold? Leave your comment below.

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