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Paper Monitor

16:56 UK time, Thursday, 10 May 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

So sorry for the late arrival of today's instalment. By way of apology, please accept this charivari from the papers:

"KATE'S DAUGHTER WILL BE QUEEN" - three guesses. Yes, it's the Daily Express which has form when it comes to overly-aerated royal coverage (see Diana: A year in headlines, Jan 2007). And no, the Express isn't first with news of a royal pregnancy - it's about a change in succession law flagged up months ago.

Another spot quiz: which paper is - about a week after the event - still banging on about the woman-who-refused-to-shave-her-armpits/legs/bikini-line-for-a-WHOLE-YEAR-AND-A-HALF!!!-and-went-on-morning-TV (aka Emer O'Toole).

What's that? The Daily Mail, you say? Why, yes. Columnist Amanda Plattell uses Emer's appearance on daytime telly as a hook on which to reveal that the happiest day of her life was the one on which her aunt introduced her to Veet (other hair removal products are available).

Never will she, Platell, be parted from her shaver/tweezers/waxes and beloved Epilady (other electric plucky devices are available). But she adds, sensitively, that she:

"Respects any woman's right to establish her own relationship between her body and her body hair - even if that involves going on national TV looking like a gorilla."

Platell admits to having a "rather troubled history" with her own hairiness. At birth, a swathe of black hair covering her forehead earned her the moniker "the wolf baby" from the nurses. Luckily for her shocked mum, the down on mini-Platell's face soon fell out naturally.

From wolf-babies to animals-that-look-like-politicians - and another Mail staple, the double-page photo spread.

Last week, Boris Johnson's blond mop saw him compared to a scruffy bouffant alpaca; now the Mail has found:

  • a "hangdog" that looks like David Cameron
  • a horse that looks like Tony Blair (captioned "mane man")
  • a hippo that resembles John Prescott (captioned "hippo-crite")
  • and a baboon that is the spit of Russian president Vladmir Putin (a "vote-swinger" prone to "going ape")

Even the unhirsute William Hague, for whom Plattell was once press secretary, has a tortoise twin - "Tortoise and the hairless" puns the paper.

And, as is traditional after any big red-carpet bash, the day after the day after the night before brings yet more sartorial judgement.

Gwyneth Paltrow wore a silver Prada halterneck to the Met Ball. The Express's Virginia Blackburn regarded it as an object lesson in how not to dress - best summarised as "cleavage or legs, but not both" - while the Daily Star leers over her "skimpy outfit" and commends Gwynnie on her macrobiotic diet.

Speaking of food - a topic close to Paper Monitor's heart - guess what the latest superfood is? Why, the earthy potato should now be a rival to the much-vaunted beetroot, broccoli and even the avocado, reports the Express.

That'll be a serving of chips for afternoon tea, please.

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