News of the World to print 5m of final edition

Chief sub-editor Alan Edwards, said there would be some differences in the last edition

The News of the World is doubling its print run to five million on Sunday as the 168-year-old newspaper publishes its historic final edition.

Newsagents expect the edition to sell "extremely well" after the paper was shut amid the phone-hacking scandal.

NoW editor Colin Myler told staff their "brilliant, creative talents" had made the paper the greatest in the world.

Deputy political editor Jamie Lyons said on Twitter that they planned to go out "with a bang".

The money from the final edition, which will also contain a copy of the first-ever edition, will be given to four charities.

In his e-mail to 280 staff, Mr Myler said it was "clearly a very difficult day".

"Who could have imagined this time last week that we would be putting out the last edition of this great newspaper after 168 years?

"But we are - and I know that you will display the same consummate professionalism that you have always done."

BBC news correspondent Ben Ando outside News International in Wapping said the mood among staff had changed from being sombre to one of defiance.

The paper's political editor David Wooding said: "It is hard to believe, because in jobs you work for secure companies, and we're working for what we thought was the most secure brand of all."

He added: "As one of my colleagues said today, never have the careers of so many been damaged by the actions of so few."

'Witch hunt'

NoW chief sub-editor, Alan Edwards, said he was devastated at the closure of the paper.

"I feel sad that so many good journalists are actually going to be put on the dole because of what's happened years before they ever worked on the newspaper, so it's a very sad day.

"It's a paper that's been part of British culture for 168 years and frankly I think we've been victims of a witch hunt by some newspapers and I hope they're happy today as they dance on the grave of a British institution."

NoW staff in the newsroom on the day they prepare their final edition Now journalists said their final day had been extremely emotional

Showbusiness editor, Dan Wootton, said the paper's journalists were proud of the final edition.

"I am so proud of my colleagues who have continued this week in absolutely trying and very personally and professionally difficult circumstances in such a professional manner, and we're putting out a great paper for tomorrow."

He said the print run had been increased as there was "massive public demand" for the tribute issue.

"The public response to the newspaper and what it means to people and their lives has just been completely overwhelming since this decision was announced, and so I think there's going to be a lot of reasons that people do buy the News of the World on Sunday."

'Collectors' item'

The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) confirmed it expected the NoW to sell "extremely well".

Anne Bingham, from the NFRN, said: "Many people will be buying it as a collectors' item. We're expecting sales to be well in excess of the normal 2.6 million."

Sunday paper circulation

  • News of the World: 2.6m
  • Mail on Sunday: 1.9m
  • Sunday Mirror: 1.1m
  • Sunday Times: 1m
  • Sunday Express: 602,000
  • Sunday Telegraph: 510,000
  • The People: 480,000
  • Sunday Mail: 367,000
  • Daily Star Sunday: 309,000

Source: ABC (Average for April 2011)

Meanwhile, industry insiders say they are expecting to see a very significant increase in all titles, with rival newspapers also pulling out the stops to attract former NoW readers.

"They all want to stand out. Expect a rash of offers of all kinds, coupon and voucher collects, and the straightforward free offers," said one, who did not want to be named.

Trinity Mirror, owners of the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, and the Daily Mail and General Trust, are hoping to attract some of the 2.6 million circulation of the best-selling NoW.

The Mail on Sunday, the second biggest-selling Sunday title, has a circulation of 1.9 million, while the Sunday Mirror has 1.1 million.

Trinity Mirror was braced to increase its print run, although it would not give any details of its plans.

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Phone-hacking scandal

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