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Paper Monitor

12:48 UK time, Thursday, 20 September 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The difference a day makes. Yesterday's Daily Star reported on a lottery win of an 18-year-old man from Folkestone, Kent thus:

"TEENAGE gang member has scooped £716,000 on the lottery. Oliver Kennedy, 18, today picks up his cheque - a share of Saturday's £3.5 million jackpot. On his Bebo webpage he boasts of being a member of the 'Dog Pound Crew' gang in his home town of Folkestone, Kent. He also lists his interests as 'goin out on the raz with the ladz' and 'gettin p***ed up'."

Last night's Evening Standard, a local paper in London, reported: "A hoodie who claims to be part of a street gang has won more than £700,000 on the lottery."

And yet Her Majesty's Press seems to be taking a different line today, having met the young man and his girlfriend.

Today's Daily Mirror goes to town on rehabilitating Mr Kennedy: "Two jobless young sweethearts yesterday toast the £700,000 win that will allow them and their baby to live together at last... The life-changing fortune means they can finally settle down properly. Ollie's mum, Louise, 46, said: 'Life's been a struggle at times for our family. Now Oliver and Kelly don't have to struggle any more. He's a caring, down-to-earth boy who will do right by his family.'"

Note to self: If ever vilified by press, don't panic. It might all be different tomorrow.

Elsewhere the Express tells us that the round glasses and blazer worn by Lily Cole, which were previously identified as making her look like Harry Potter, actually make her look like Billy Bunter.

And the Mirror tells us that the glasses worn by Britney Spears make her look like Olive, from On The Buses, a programme which presumably is beyond Ms Spears' frame of reference.

Thrillers make for a good read while commuting, and the Guardian, bless it, delivers with an article headlined: "The businesswoman, the £17m necklace and a criminal secret - Fish trader facing Italian jail sentence named as architect of Tokyo jewel robbery."

Now that has got it all. Paper Monitor is fond of headlines so comprehensive that there's no need to read the accompanying story, but this gem is in another league entirely. It's a crime novel condensed onto a single page, a twisty-turny tale of an international diamond heist, a Serbian gang, fake passports and - allegedly - a beautiful "Fiat-driving seafood exporter" who has been named (although not described in those words) in Italian court documents.

Michael Crichton - and crime reporters everywhere - eat your heart out.

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