The combined circulations of English national newspapers fell below 10 million in December the first time this has happened since the Second World War.

The Daily Mail and Daily Star were the only two daily national papers to record year-on-year circulation increases last month, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations figures.

Among the losers were The Times (down 13.2%), the Guardian (-12.4%) and the Daily Telegraph (-9.37%), figures which reflect the broadsheets' decision to cut bulk distribution. The Daily Mirror recorded a 9% year-on-year fall and the Daily Express slipped 6.9%.

Despite retailers threatening to de-list or reduce facings of the Daily Star after the paper's owners cut its cover price, which also reduced stores profit, the Star achieved an 8.17% year-on-year rise to 784,958 copies in December.

However The Sun, which also cut retailers' return last month, saw its circulation fall by 1.25% year on year to 2,862,935 copies.

The Mail recorded a 0.17% year-on-year increase, selling 2,113,134 copies.

January's figures are expected to fall further still, as wholesalers struggled to deliver due to the severe weather conditions.

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