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Paper Monitor

12:57 UK time, Thursday, 13 May 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's Through the Keyhole, only without the mystery as to whose house it is.

The Guardian runs a picture gallery of Gordon Brown's final hours... with photographer Martin Argles inside Downing Street. Those who love open house weekends and backstage tours will lap this stuff up.

And it's something of an accidental companion piece to the Magazine's article on Number 10's very shiny door, in that it swings open that famous front door and heads up to what's called the "war room".

brown_guardian.jpgPaper Monitor scrolled through the online version last night, having stumbled across it while reading about processed cheese, but the version in today's newspaper makes for a much richer experience.

The photos are about five times the size, for one thing, allowing a detailed view of what, exactly, Mr Brown had on his desk, including:

  • contact lens solutions
  • first-day-at-school snap of son John, clutching a red book bag
  • cut crystal tumbler

And what adorned the wood panelled walls, including:
  • rainbow coalition of six landscape scenes, presumably by the elder of his sons
  • framed photos of both boys
  • finger-painting taped to the wall, presumably by the younger of his sons

And instead of the online version's bald captions - eg: "Brown takes the phone call from Clegg that seals his resignation" - the newspaper sensibly gets a reporter to interview Argles and craft his impressions into a proper story. (Some of Paper Monitor's best friends are photojournalists. Great at telling stories with pictures. Words... not so much.)

"[T]hey were having quite a good time laughing, which was really just to keep the tension down, I think, while we were waiting for this phone call. Then it came. And there was silence. The whole place fell completely silent. Brown answered the phone, and we could hear him saying: 'Nick, Nick. I can't hold on any longer. Nick. I've got to go to the palace. The country expects me to do that. I have to go. The Queen expects me to go. I can't hold on any longer.' Presumably Clegg was trying to get him to not go to the palace while he extracted some more concessions from Cameron. I assume."

It's obviously something of a coup, because the Daily Mail has bought the lot and runs the pics over two pages as part of its own election coverage.

Elsewhere, the papers wheel out the likenesses to the country's newest double act. The Sun's front page photo montage casts Cameron and Clegg as a skipping Morecambe and Wise with the headline: "Bring us sunshine".

Mail columnist Jan Moir likens them to Ant and Dec, "two peas from a very privileged pod".

The Daily Mirror calls them "HISTORY BOYS" (Paper Monitor's italics for the Mirror's blue text).

The Independent, and many of the others, cast it as a civil partnership - garden setting, grooms in near-matching smart suits etc - "... 'til debt us do part."

And the Guardian picks up on the blizzard of tweets comparing the pair to Jeeves and Wooster.

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