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Paper Monitor

13:09 UK time, Thursday, 20 May 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

After all the fun the press had at the cost of the London 2012 Olympic logo, reporters will have been salivating yesterday at the promise of not one but two official mascots for the games.

Wenlock and Mandeville, for those are their names, made it into all of today's papers, although the PR people will not be beaming with delight at the reaction.

Of course, it could be said that being aimed "squarely at children", as Lord Coe, chairman of the Games' organising committee, said they were, criticism should perhaps have been reserved for the pages of the Beano. But that would be to deny the aesthetes their moment of glory.

First up is the Guardian's architecture critic Jonathan Glancey, who notes the creatures' "cyclopean eyes... may remind many of the lenses of CCTV cameras staring from pretty much every building, station and street corner in the city".

Ooh, little bit of politics, as Ben Elton used to say.

Meanwhile, the Guardian's sports news correspondent, Owen Gibson, notes that "among the designs rejected at the start of an open pitch process were anthropomorphic pigeons, an animated tea pot and a Big Ben with arms and legs".

Come again, a Big Ben with arms and legs? Paper Monitor couldn't help but think back to (with the help of the Magazine's new "from the archive" feature) this suggestion submitted by Magazine reader David Oliver two years ago.

The Daily Mail is far from impressed.

"Blobs" is how the headline defines the creatures.

"Mascots rival that dreaded logo" runs its sub-headline.

It's not alone in comparing the mascots to Sonic the Hedgehog, although the paper's observation that they look like Mike from Monsters Inc is a better one.

The paper turns to design critic Stephen Bayley for an assessment.

"The logo was hideous enough but now we have these ridiculous, infantile mascots. Who is to blame for this I ask you?"

Far be it from Paper Monitor to take on the esteemed Mr Bayley, who contributed only this week to the Magazine, but isn't the point of these mascots that they are infantile? (cf Lord Coe's quote above)

The Times, the Independent and the Sun are less sniffy,with Independent reporter Ian Burrell quoting a fellow hack as saying "It's quite hard to take the [BBC taste and decency issues apply] out of".

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