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Paper Monitor

13:34 UK time, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

A belated - sorry! - service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's been a while since the Daily Express had a Madeleine McCann cover.

But with the release of two age-adjusted photos showing the missing girl as she may look at six-and-a-half, the Express devotes much of page one to a then and now picture spread.

"MADDIE We believe she is alive. Help us to bring her home" runs its headline, using a quote from her parents (who, incidentally, call her Madeleine and never Maddie). But the paper is back on-message in its page five headline and article:

"Tanned and smiling... a new image of Madeleine revealed in fresh appeal.
Experts in the US have produced the two haunting pictures of how Madeleine would look now."

Incidentally - again - on the Express's overly heavy website, Madeleine stories have the usual "have your say" request for comments disabled.

In 2007, the Express reported a similar move on the Leicester Mercury newspaper's message boards in rather hysterical terms: "NOW HER PARENTS FACE HATE CAMPAIGN - Madeleine's home town turns against her parents".

But there's no more of that sort of thing, since that round of apologies last year (Paper Monitor, March 07).

Even for the Express, things have been rather quiet when it comes to Madeleine developments.

The LexisNexis newspaper database shows the last time it touched on the case was 20 October, in which she is mentioned during an interview with a psychic who "helped police solve the murders of Holly and Jessica". So, what's his take on Madeleine's disappearance?

"I would be keen to be involved," he said. "But it's completely against my principles to do anything of the sort without being expressly asked to do so by the parents."

Any hopes of a scoop dashed then.

And the second most recent Madeleine story from the Express stables was on Sunday, 18 October, on how the Home Secretary was poised to ask US spy chiefs for satellite images of Praia da Luz at the time the little girl vanished in May 2007.

"The quality of pictures taken by satellites in space is now so good they can reputedly identify the colour of someone's eyes."

No further news on that particular angle yet.

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