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Paper Monitor

12:51 UK time, Monday, 21 December 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It might be some consolation to Simon Cowell, as he contemplates Christmas without his customary number one single, that even a week after the X Factor show concluded, it is still hogging the headlines ahead of Strictly Come Dancing.

Chris Hollins may have lifted the dancing crown, much to his own surprise, but it's the
so-called biggest upset in chart history - a triumph for a protest song inspired by the Rodney King riots - that has the papers more fixated.

The retrospective of the Noughties in the Times also gives a nod to Cowell's influence on television.

And a story in the Independent about the most written-about celebrities of the decade - Madonna is first, incidentally - suggests X Factor judge Cheryl Cole could top the list in coming decade.

"Thanks to her primetime role as a judge on The X Factor, and the tabloid press's increasing fixation with her at the expense of her fellow Girls Aloud bandmates, Cole has seen her newspaper stocks skyrocket.
In 2007 there were 'just' 884 articles written about the Geordie singer but in 2008 - the year she joined The X Factor - the number of articles mentioning Cole jumped to 2,241. This year she has appeared in 3,745 articles, making her the fourth most written about celebrity of 2009."

There is no X Factor angle to the big sports news story from the weekend, the coming out of Wales rugby star Gareth Thomas.

After the scandal of Bloodgate, the sport needs to end the year with some positive vibes, and the warm welcome afforded Thomas when he played on Saturday goes some way to providing that.

The papers have been united in their support, with the odd humorous headline too - "I'M THE ONLY GAY... IN THE SCRUMMAGE"

That's in the Sun, of course, which ends a sympathetic piece about the agony of Thomas's double life with a throwaway line that must confirm to readers there really has been no doubt about his sexuality all along.

"At the weekend Gareth pulled on a pink away top for Cardiff as they played his old club Toulouse..."

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