Plans to turn British tabloid the Sunday People into a new-look paper to occupy the gap left by the closing of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World look likely to be shelved after talks to buy the paper ended.

Trinity Mirror, the British newspaper group that owns the Sunday People, said today that discussions with investors who had expressed an interest in the tabloid had ended.

A spokesman for the group declined to comment further on the reason why the talks - with a consortium headed by former Fleet Street editor Sue Douglas - had ended without agreement.

The Sunday People, a celebrity gossip-heavy tabloid founded in 1881, benefited from the closure of rival News of the World at the height of the phone hacking scandal in 2011.

However a new Sunday edition of the best-selling Sun daily has eaten into many of those gains.

Both the News of the World and the Sun are products of News International, the British arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Media reports suggested that the revamped Sunday People would have been called News of the People or News on Sunday.