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Paper Monitor

11:46 UK time, Monday, 26 February 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Damn those Americans for being in a different time zone from the acknowledged centre of the universe – London, of course. The papers are always forced to walk a tricky line on the morning after the Oscars – a ceremony that is the pinnacle of the celebrity glitz and moneyed beauty that editors so love these days, and yet which comes too late for even the final editions.

The trick is to draw readers in with an Oscars-flavoured story on the front, while sidestepping the awkward fact that – thanks to the magic of broadcasting - most readers probably know who won or lost by the time they pick up their morning paper.*

Couple that with the fact that, as Paper Monitor previously pointed out, the collective British press dons a local newspaper mentality – backing its plucky stars against the monolith of dominant power, and what do you get? A Dame Helen Mirren fest.

The Guardian wins the award for being most sneaky – picturing Dame Helen clasping an Oscar statuette at what turns out to be a rehearsal.

The Mail, Times and Daily Telegraph snap Dame Helen with Union Jack in hand, as she arrives at the ceremony.

The Sun claims Dame H has been invited for tea with the woman she portrays in the film for which she was nominated, the Queen.

And the Express? Well, the movie itself focuses on the Monarch's struggle to keep pace with the tide of British public opinion at the time of the death of Diana.

So it's reassuring to see the late princess rehabilitated to Monday front page status after a noted absence.

* Churlish though it may seem to indulge in a spot of cross media slanging, but if there is anyone out there who doesn't actually know whether Dame triumphed, don't wait for tomorrow's papers, click here now for a full run-down of Oscars results.

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