Richard Desmond: I have £1bn to buy a newspaper

Richard Desmond, owner of the Daily Star and Daily Express, has indicated his interest in taking over The Sun newspaper from current owner Rupert Murdoch.

Interviewed by the BBC Today programme, Desmond said he had money to buy another title but admitted that he did not know if Murdoch would sell the nation’s biggest selling daily newspaper.

Asked if he thought he could be a better proprietor, Desmond said he would run The Sun differently.

He said: ‘We would run it in a different manner which would be more efficient in today’s marketplace.”

During the course of the cagey interview, in which he gave a series of clipped answers, Desmond told reporter Nick Cosgrove that he thought consolidation had to happen in the newspaper market and he wanted to be vanguard of the industry.

Asked which paper he would like to buy, Desmond, seemingly in mischievous mood, said: ‘Work it out for yourself”.

Cosgrove then asked if he would be interested in the Mirror or the Telegraph to which Desmond replied ‘Definitely not”. He was then asked about The Sun. ‘Work it out for yourself,’Desmond said again.

Desmond said he had met Rupert Murdoch several times but refused to specifically say if they had discussed the Sun.

Asked if his company, Northern and Shell, had £1bn to buy another newspaper, Desmond said: ‘Of course, absolutely. We are a highly profitable business.”

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