POOR old Beryl- now she really is in Peril. And for Desperate Dan, that chomp into a cow pie is about to become his last.
Britain's longest-running children's comic The Dandy is to shut after plummeting sales, it was leaked yesterday. Publisher DC Thomson says the final edition will be published on December 4 this year- its 75th birthday.
Company bosses were livid when news of the comic's demise leaked to the outside world and claimed operations were 'in lockdown' to prevent further security lapses.
Ellis Watson, chief executive of DC Thomson's newspaper and magazine publishing operations, said: 'Now that the cat's out of the bag, I can confirm that this will be our last print edition.
'I've closed down loopholes to ensure much tighter internal security. We've heard about people trying to find out the plans by hacking into www.dandy.com so we've taken it all offline and moved into core project offices.We're in lockdown.'
The closure follows a long-term decline in circulation. Sales stand at about 8,000 copies a week, down from more than 2 million during The Dandy's in the 1950s.
However, cartoon strips will continue in an online-only version of the comic while yhe Dundee-based publisher continues with a review of its portfolio because of 'challenges' in the industry.
The Dandy, which launched in 1937, has featured characters such as Bananaman, Korky the Cat, Cuddles and Dimples, Beryl the Peril.
The final comic will include a copy of the first edition. A souvenir book marking the Dandy's 75th anniversary was also launched at a book festival in Edinburgh this week.