What a Good Sport!

Titbits magazine was something of a working class British institution. Launched in 1881, it ran for over 100 years, and at its peak was selling over one million copies a week. Unashamedly low-brow and populist, from the 1950s onwards it specialised in printing an increasing amount of stories about the Royal Family, TV celebrities ‘at home’, supermarket bargains, horoscope predictions, fad diets, Spanish holidays and, as one commentator noted, ‘beer, birds and bingo’. It didn’t shy away from printing photos of topless girls either, and models like Maureen Flanagan, Nicola Austine, Helli Louise, Katya Wyeth and even Mary Millington all appeared semi-clad from the early-1970s onwards.

Mary Millington Titbits 1976

In August 1974 Mary’s naked body featured prominently in a double-page spread about the release of her debut movie Eskimo Nell. She reappeared again in December 1976, in an article about ‘winter sports’, a specious piece which merely enabled the magazine to print Mary’s bare boobs. Here she is topless, brandishing a hockey stick, but superimposed into the midst of a rather less-revealing outdoor match…

Mary Millington Titbits 1976 b

All words © Simon Sheridan 2016

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