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Paper Monitor

11:53 UK time, Monday, 3 March 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Barely a year ago Paper Monitor was tutting somewhat self-righteously at the sudden embracing by all Her Majesty's Press of Life On Mars. You couldn't move for references to Gene Hunt.

Well it looks like that particular media mania is coming back to life, stirring from its coma as if it was - oh well you get the idea.

Today's Metro is a case in point. "Curl up and dye, big hair is back," it says after a chanteuse appeared with something on her head which was last seen in Kylie's video for Locomotion.

Apparently there is a new trend for people to regain that 80s look, inspired by Keeley Hawes' appearance in Ashes to Ashes. It also says that the 80s are "the so-called decade that fashion forgot". That was the 70s, surely? (Though an interesting footnote is this reference from Samuel Pepys' Diary for March 1664/5: "I went forth about my own business to buy a pair of riding grey serge stockings and sword and belt and hose, and after that took Wotton and Brigden to the Pope’s Head Tavern in Chancery Lane, where Gilb. Holland and Shelston were, and we dined and drank a great deal of wine, and they paid all. My we looked like something summoned from the 1630s, that decade which fashion forgot." *)

It's a good point about the haircuts, but surely this is the start of a new Watch: Genewatch - for any spurious references in the media to Gene Hunt or similar.

In any case, haircuts and tight jeans are only one aspect one fondly remembers of bygone eras. How about completely shameless pun-laden news stories? Metro carries this gem today under the headline: "An uplifted pear".

"Harley Street will be cosmetically enhanced when it is planted with 45 pear trees. The trees will line the London street famed for surgical make-overs,in a plan by Westminster City Council. But patients will not get a nice pear without surgery as the trees bear no fruit."

Ahh let the good times roll.

*Paper Monitor's disclosure, in the interests of restoring trust between broadcaster and audience, is that the last sentence of the Pepys quotation is entirely fabricated.

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