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The Sun PR head Dylan Sharpe apologises for the winking Page 3 return tweet which saw Twitter brand him a 'c*ckwomble'

The Sun's head of PR has issued an apology documenting his day on the receiving end of a Twitter hate campaign following him gloatingly tweeting the news that the Sun will indeed continue to publish pictures of topless women.

Following the return of Page 3, despite numerous media reports claiming the contrary, the Sun's PR head Dylan Sharpe tweeted “the big reveal” on Twitter in the form of a winking, topless Nicole 22, from Bournemouth.

The tweet, which was sent to Lucy Manning, Kay Burley, Steve Hewlett, Roy Greenslade and Harriet Harman, Dylan admitted, was seen by many as an attempt “to belittle, to attack, to demean” critics of the feature - instead of as a joke.

In an apology issued to Buzzfeed, Sharpe said: "Nominally I’m the head of PR for the Sun, but you may also know me as 'c*ckwomble', 'c*nt' or 'creepiest guy on Twitter'.

"Someone with a lot of followers thought I’d done it to be nasty... It’s not about the naked breasts (which had already been tweeted over 10,000 times by other Twitter users) it’s the wink. I am Nicole. I am the winker (you read that right), winking at the people who I had told the day before not to assume page 3 had gone.

"By midday I was receiving death threats and being told I was the most vile person that had ever lived. I left Twitter alone for a few hours."

Sharpe concluded: "Guilty of gloating I most certainly am. Icarus has well and truly plummeted to earth. But I never meant to offend and I want to apologise to all those I @’ed in that tweet. It was supposed to be funny but clearly I misjudged that one."

In particular, Sharpe took a swipe at the Huffington Post which he claimed just "tells their readers what they should be angry about in the Sun,” adding that it had written a “an article about how horrible a human” he was.

In a tribute to what it had assumed was the fallen Page 3, the Scotsman on Wednesday printed a Page 3 mock up featuring a topless Linda Lusardi.