The Daily Mail was transformed by its editor during the 1970s and 1980s, David English . He had been editor of the Daily Sketch from 1969 to 1971, when it closed. Part of the same group from 1953, the Sketch was absorbed by its sister title, and English became editor of the Mail , a post in which he remained for more than 20 years.  English transformed it from a struggling newspaper selling half as many copies as its mid-market rival, the Daily Express , to a formidable publication, whose circulation rose to surpass that of the Express by the mid-1980s.  English was knighted in 1982. 
The Daily Mail has been consistently sceptical in its coverage of organised feminism. Outspoken columnists such as Lynda Lee-Potter blamed the women’s movement for many of the ills of modern society. Many women have felt that the flipside of the Mail ’s staunch defence of ‘family values’ has been a critical approach to women who combine motherhood with a career. Others have pointed to the way the paper has scrutinised the female body and sneered at imperfections. A characteristic article from March 2003, for example, revealed the ‘swimsuit age’ of stars snapped on the beach. Thirty-year-old pop star Mariah Carey was given a ‘swimsuit age’ of 45 because she had ‘let herself go’ and displayed ‘chunky thighs’. Sailor Ellen MacArthur, meanwhile, ‘may be fit but her body is chunky. She hasn’t had children yet, but already looks rather matronly’. Criticism has been easy to brush off while the Mail ’s tried-and-trusted formula remains appealing to a sufficient number of readers. Indeed, the enormous global popularity of Mail Online , the newspaper’s website, suggests that the formula is as successful today as it has ever been.