The final yellow pages phone book marks the end of the era and online movement

With nearly a billion copies printed in its 53 years of operation, the last copy of the Yellow Pages was delivered to Brighton on Friday; the city where it all began in 1966.

The Yellow Pages – the UK’s leading telephone directory and a staple in British household history – has now moved to, becoming a fully online business.


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Actor and Cold feet Star James Nesbitt, who has been the star of some of the Yellow Pages‘ most famous commercials, visited two companies that have been advertising the book since the very first issue and delivered the final edition to some Brighton people & Hove Friday (January 18).

Since their launch five decades ago, the once-bulky Yellow Pages (famous in equal parts for their size and color) have been delivered to over 27 million UK homes with 104 editions tailored to specific regions of the country.

yellow pages first cover issue of 1966 and last issue of 2019

As a popular way for consumers to search and find local businesses, more than a million independent businesses – from local hairdressers and plumbers to artificial eye dealers – have advertised in the famous yellow book at during its broadcast.

“Almost every household, including mine, had one near their phone” – James Nesbitt

It was in September 2017 that Yell announced the last printing cycle of the Yellow Pages. The first of 104 final editions was distributed in Kingston in January 2018, and the final edition of the story was distributed this month in Brighton, where it all began.

Now, after more than half a century, Yell, owned by the Hibu Group, said it was “the right time” to stop print publishing. Yell is now committed to helping “a million businesses be found, chosen and trusted” by more customers online by 2020. website


“The book itself will no doubt be remembered, and after over 50 years we are extremely proud to say that we still have clients who have been with us since the very first directory, and are now with us online. “said Richard Hanscott, Executive Chef of Yell. “While the farewells can be difficult, we felt it was a good time to end the yellow pages and we look forward to pursuing our future online at “

But Yellow Pages was just as popular for its advertisements as the Yellow Book itself.

James Nesbitt and Richard Hanscott, CEO of Yell - Last day of the Yellow Pages
Hanscott (left) and Nesbitt (right)


The Yellow Pages brand was behind some of the most memorable television commercials, including “French Polishers”, “JR Hartley’s Fly Fishing” and the 2003 campaign starring James Nesbitt as Adam.

Nesbitt said he was “truly honored to have played a role in the final delivery” of the iconic phone book.

James Nesbitt delivers last copies of the Yellow Pages


“I had a great time chatting with Yell’s two oldest customers and delivering the last few to the city of Brighton,” Nesbitt said. “The Yellow Pages are such an iconic piece of history – almost every household, including mine, had one near their phone, and it helped us connect with local businesses in our towns and villages.”


    1. JR Hartley (1983)

    2. French polishers (1991)

    3. Haircut (2003)


    • 1966 – First yellow pages published
    • 1976 – The Yellow Pages are rolled out across the UK
    • 1988 – The electronic yellow pages are born
    • 1996 – is launched
    • 2016 – The Yellow Pages turns 50
    • 2019 – Final edition of the Yellow Pages distributed

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      Calvin W. Soper

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