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Paper Monitor

11:42 UK time, Wednesday, 21 October 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Aptly, the Sun dives in for a second serving of the story of the 70-stone Ipswich man.

Yesterday it called him "THE WORLD'S FATTEST BLOKE" (see Tuesday's Paper Monitor). It's back-pedalled since then, and today reports that it's long been his ambition to be the fattest man in the world.

The front page is dominated by a photo of a fish supper and his lunch menu as a headline: "4 large cod, 2 pies, 4 battered sausages, 6 large chips, mushy peas, curry sauce". Inside there's more from a "health care insider" who treated him in hospital three years ago:

"'He was often seen going through the McDonald's drive-thru section for cars in his special wheelchair. No one could stop him eating.'
In his bid to become a record-breaker, [he] scoffed whole boxes of Sugar Puffs in one go."

For readers for whom even the most personal of details is not too much information, there is even an annotated photo of his home, explaining a day in the life:

  • "Water tank: To keep him hydrated. He is banned from all fizzy drinks as they could expand his stomach still further"
  • "Hoist: This lifts [his] bed up so he can change the position of his head and see the television clearly"
  • "S.A.D. lightbox: Helps to combat depression and seasonal affective disorder caused by lack of sun"

Meanwhile, News in Briefs addresses the question of positive discrimination. On David Cameron's plans to use all-women shortlists to pick prospective MPs, Poppy, 18, from Somerset, says: "It's only right that women should be represented properly in Parliament."

Is the Sun having yet another dig at anti-Page Three Girl Harriet Harman?

Meanwhile, the Times addresses one of those questions that you never knew you wanted an answer to until seeing it in print: "Ever wondered why we drive on the left but stand on the right?" (Online the headline is revised to "Mystery over Tube escalator etiquette cleared up by restored film".)

After missing the story about hoax showbiz stories thrown up by the very film festival that it sponsors (Thursday's Paper Monitor), the Times gets a full page article out of a restored silent film showing at the festival.

"Escalator etiquette in most countries tends to match the rules of the road... So why do passengers on the London Underground stand on the right-hand side of escalators when the rules of the road dictate that we drive on the left? A visual joke in [the film] Underground... shows how the design of early escalators meant that it was important to step off with the right foot. Unlike modern 'comb' escalators, where the end of the moving stairway is at right angles to the direction of travel, older 'shunt' escalators ended with a diagonal so that the stairway finished sooner for the right foot than for the left."

So does escalator etiquette match the rules of the road where you live?

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