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Paper Monitor

10:30 UK time, Thursday, 4 January 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

To craft a cartoon for the daily papers is a fine art - it is quite a feat to achieve a balance between topicality and humour. Today's Daily Telegraph shows just how fine the line is between success and failure.

Front page regular Matt turns in a nicely-judged panel on the schoolboy sailor, Michael Perham. The cartoon depicts the wee lad in a public phonebox on a far-off shore, his yacht parked up behind. "Er... hi mum, I've sort of crossed the Atlantic, can you come and pick me up?"

But flip inside to where the heavyweight political cartoonists roam, and it is a different story. Laboured seems an apt description, in more ways than one. On a strip of land marked "FLORIDA", a bloke in sunglasses watches a solo sailor heading for a strip of land marked "ANTIGUA". The one in sunglasses is labelled "BOY"; the one on the boat "MAN". Can you tell who they are yet?

Meanwhile, Celebrity Big Brother threw open its doors to a new cast of hasbeens and wannabes. Sadly, rumours that the Hoff would be installed within its CCTV-bedecked walls have proved to be unfounded, as have equally beguiling tales that Jade Goody would be among the housemates. But then, after last year's win by a lookalike who emerged a celebrity in her own right, could the show be any more of a post-modern hellhole?

The show barely rates a mention in the Telegraph (although its readers surely knew - and loved - Cleo Rocos in her Kenny Everett days); but no surprise that the former Miss GB who enjoys a close bond with footballer Teddy Sheringham is plastered all over the tabloids.

The Times focusses its energies on Shilpa Shetty, "so beautiful and classy Davina found herself helping the Bollywood star up the stairs"; while it is Ken Russell that prompts the Guardian's Mark Lawson to note that the show "has a history of including one housemate likely to appeal to Guardian readers of a certain age - Germaine Greer, George Galloway - but this was the first inclusion recognisable only to that constituency".

Kind of the producers to give the old devil a roof over his head after that spot of unpleasantness last year with his house burning down.

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