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Paper Monitor

11:18 UK time, Wednesday, 13 February 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It’s been a long time since Paper Monitor last took a dip, but if ever there was an incentive to get back into the chlorine-infused waters of the nearest municipal pool, it’d have to be the sleek wetsuit-like cossie its makers claim to be the “the fastest swimsuit the world has seen”. Fortunately there's no need to put this claim to the test as the Times has dispatched one of their common or garden reporters for a test swim.

No-one who's ever had that squeezing, wriggling, tugging and pulling experience in the confined space of a changing room can fail to feel sympathy for the writer as he grapples with the lycra all-in-one, after being scrutinised by the man from Speedo and issued with a size extra small.

The Times man was told that “even in that size, my shoulders were too small and I had 'no chest'”. Is there a clearer example of a gender divide than the reaction to being described as “too small"? Where men may hide disappointment, the fairer sex will be unable to hold back from regaling friends and family for days. But before gliding effortlessly into the size zero debate, back to the swimsuit.

Did it actually work? Well, it sounds like that depends on the swimmer, but it certainly looks good, or a bit like a ballet costume…

On the subject of fashion, columnists are keen to comment on Natasha Kaplinsky as she heads over to Five News, concentrating particularly on her wardrobe rather than her journalistic talents. Hugo Rifkind in the Times calls her previous onscreen attire as having “had a whiff of that unsettlingly cleavagey friend of your mother’s”.

Whilst over at the Mail, Amanda Platell recalls the nickname she kindly gave to Kaplinsky - Spangles - claiming it had nothing do with her being “cheap, sickly and brittle”, oh no, no nothing like that. It was because “she most reminded me of a cheap sequin sewn on to the frock of a dancer to make them shine”. Paper Monitor wonders where exactly the difference lies? A point to ponder perhaps, when next attempting a few lengths of front crawl down at the local swimming baths.

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