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Paper Monitor

11:21 UK time, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

A celebration of the riches of the daily press.

Metrosexuals and personal grooming aficionados doubtless wince at the sight of Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The unkempt beard, the lone island of hair that sits atop a bald pate (described by a colleague of Paper Monitor's as the Shearer Tuft), the indecently outsized (for modern tastes, at least) metal rimmed specs.

But in matters ecclesiastical, the Daily Telegraph operates on a higher plane than that of Gok Wan. No?

brown_bbc_226.jpgNot today, it seems. The paper depicts Dr Williams across a sequence of four pictures on page two (sorry, no online version). In the first his eyelids appear heavy as he props up his head with a hand, his mind seemingly wandering while delegates speak.

In the second, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and its estimated 77 million members - is pictured picking his nose.

But it's the third of this quartet of images that is perhaps most unsettling. Like Gordon Brown before him (see picture above right), Dr Williams has become an unwitting victim of the long, thin stick microphone. You know the sort - with small fuzzy bobbly bit at the end.

wogan_bbc_226.jpgDid today's generation of public relations supremos never watch Terry Wogan on Blankety Blank? Without fail almost every week, the Blarney-blessed presenter turned his absurd size zero mic into a visual gag - a stunt which invariably involved Kenny Everett twisting it into a vaguely lewd outline.

These days, the stick mic seems to have become a conference centre mainstay - something which must bring a wry smile to the faces of all newspaper photographers.

The Telegraph picture in question shows the mic blotting out one of Dr Williams' eyes, while the doctor is caught in mid-startled mode. The overall effect is of a madman being assailed by a giant fly.

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