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Paper Monitor

09:59 UK time, Monday, 5 March 2007

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A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

No sooner does the High Court overturn the deputy royal coroner's decision that the Diana inquest shouldn't be heard by a jury, than the Daily Express - which had been going decidedly cool on Diana in recent weeks - is back on the case. The late princess is rehabilitated to the paper's front page, leading to a full page story inside. To be fair, the Express is not alone in using Diana's audience pulling power. Paper Monitor does not work on a Saturday, but had it been on duty the weekend before last, it would have highlighted the Daily Mail's Diana bonanza - a free Diana DVD and an offer of a Diana figurine. Nice.

As media commentator, Roy Greenslade, noted in the Evening Standard last Wednesday: "She may have been dead for 10 years but the Mail clearly believes she remains a potent sales-winner."

The SAS could probably be classified as another such sales-winner, and the red tops are both dripping today with SAS-inspired Action Man glee. The Mirror manages to turn the story about British hostages on the Ethiopian border into an "our boys go in" spectacular, with a liberal sprinkling of the SAS "who dares wins" emblem and headlines like: "SNATCH SQUAD" and "SAS squad to storm desert hellhole".

The Sun's clearly less bothered about the fate of these anonymous British travellers, pitching its SAS story at an operation to rescue Prince Harry WERE he to be kidnapped in Iraq. There's some "Boy's Own" style computer graphics illustrating how this week's dry run might just perhaps in theory unfold, climaxing in a big shoot.

And, as the headline makes clear - "Rescuers will free Prince with tear gas and grenades" - the outcome of this hypothetical capture is in no doubt.

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