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Paper Monitor

12:30 UK time, Friday, 20 October 2006

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Stop the presses - George Michael in cannabis shock! He lights up, he inhales - who’d have known, eh?

The Daily Mirror plasters pictures of the singer openly smoking a joint all over its front page, topped with an EXCLUSIVE banner.

But before you go thinking that the Mirror has only gone and bagged itself another scoop in the vein of the Kate-Moss-cocaine-snaps Mark II, look more closely – the pictures are TV stills from an interview with Melvin Bragg for ITV's South Bank Show. So not that exclusive after all. Unless it’s the tabloid lexicon you’re referring to, which defines exclusive as “not in the Sun”.

The Sun, meanwhile, has an exclusive of its own – what it says is the world’s first review of Casino Royale. Yes, Rebekah Wade has played M and dispatched the paper’s own secret agent – dubbed The Sneak – to infiltrate a preview screening of the film.

Given that the Sun has previously devoted much newsprint to deriding new Bond Daniel Craig, so what’s the verdict on his 007?

“THE BEST BOND SINCE CONNERY” shrieks the headline. “[Craig] plays the gritty, tougher than nails secret agent novelist Ian Fleming meant the world to see.”

And for anyone who took the time to read the full transcript of the leaked dossier on Heather Mills’ divorce petition (so that will be everyone then), and who wondered what happened to the five missing pages, the papers attempt to shed light on the issue: “I think you will find that there was something in the pages that was derogatory about Heather,” a source close to the case tells the Times.

Again, who’d have thought?

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