Here's the Very Last Cover of News of the World

It hasn't hit newsstands yet, but journalists have taken a couple photos of the last copy of News of the World, which is shutting down following revelations that private investigators in its employ had hacked the voicemail of murder and abduction victims and their families.

The paper's farewell piece opens with a quote from George Orwell:

"It is Sunday afternoon, preferably before the war. The wife is already asleep in the armchair, and the children have been sent out for a nice long walk. You put your feet up on the sofa, settle your spectacles on your nose and open the News of the World."

"Preferably before the war" is, of course, how the News feels about everything. And—so fittingly!—the paper manages to omit the following lines that follow:

Roast beef and Yorkshire, or roast pork and apple sauce, followed up by suet pudding and driven home, as it were, by a cup of mahogany-brown tea, have put you in just the right mood. Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what is it that you want to read about?

Naturally, about a murder.

(Orwell was, as many are wont to do, bemoaning the "decline of the English murder.")

Goodbye, News of the World! Orwell—and anyone else looking for good, catty coverage of murders, sex crimes, celebrities, and politicians doing stupid stuff—is welcome to check here instead. Or in the Sun on Sunday, which should be launching any week now.

Update: We've swapped in a hi-res copy of the front page above, a full-size version of which is available here.

[images via Gordon Thompson, Rachel Richardson, @SkyNews]