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Paper Monitor

12:26 UK time, Monday, 22 June 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

As billed last week, Paper Monitor happily spent (parts of) the weekend knee deep in reports of MPs expenses. One had hoped it would be a cathartic experience, and that one would emerge cleansed from the mire, refreshed to face the world again.

It's had rather the opposite effect. Paper Monitor is officially expended. All stories now in whatever medium have a question mark lurking somewhere about them.

England's finest gardens are going to seed, said the Sunday Telegraph. "Really?" asks Paper Monitor's question mark. "With taxpayer-funded gardeners on hand to tweak the hanging baskets?"

No, brain. That story is nothing to do with MPs expenses.

Bags replace boxes in great cereal shake-up, says the Daily Mail. "Ahhh but will they still claim for boxes?" hovers the question.

Brain, chill out. No flipping residences here.

Jordan's crazed bender until 10am, flaunts the Daily Mirror. "Well I hope she kept the receipts," comes the - by now - deeply irritating thought.

Maybe Paper Monitor just needs a break. Not a junket, just a break from reading about expenses. Good job it's Wimbledon....

... and already Murray mania is well into its stride. Are the papers just a wee bit worried that Britain's brightest hope for a Wimbledon singles title since, er, Tim Henman, might do something spectacularly British, and bow out in the first round?

The Mirror isn't chancing it, running its "Murray makers" piece - a round up of warm sentiments about Andy Murray from those nearest and dearest to him. The Sun plumps for a picture of a well-toned, bare-chested Murray on page 23 and a story that his muscly-look is down to an extreme form of yoga. (Interestingly, it also runs a story on page three about David Beckham doing Pilates, although it chooses not to link the pieces.)

Full marks to the Sun for cleverly side-stepping that bear-trap familiar to all Monitor readers - the use of SW19 as a journalistic synonym for Wimbledon. Like any other sporting venues are known at second mention by their postcodes... So, Monitor faithful, you are all cordially invited to hail the start of "Wimbo".

Over at the Daily Telegraph, which, let's face it, is the Wimbledon Championships in editorial form, there's the unavoidable truth that however buff Andy Murray is, he's no competition for young tennis specimens of the female variety.

While the paper picture splashes with Murray, its page three is more concerned with the fortunes of Serbian player called Ana Ivanovic and the shock news that "selling sex is cenral to women's tennis". Look, here's Ivanovic in a low-cut dress.

As the late, great Dan Maskell would have it: Oooh, I say.

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