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Paper Monitor

11:05 UK time, Friday, 16 March 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's not often that Paper Monitor wishes it worked in TV, but watching Comic Relief Does The Apprentice is the exception.

Which genius hit on the idea of casting both Alastair Campbell and Piers Morgan - opposite sides of the same coin? Gold dust. As for dubbing theirs the "boys' team"? Watch those alpha males squirm. And which made for the most surreal piece of TV - Rupert Everett declaring he was uncomfortable in front of the cameras (yes, the Hollywood actor Rupert Everett) or fashion maven Trinny Woodall scuffling with Piers after the "boys" kidnapped her chef?

Needless to say, every telly reviewer worth his or her salt has something to say about the programme, which naturally leads Paper Monitor to the mighty Nancy Banks-Smith in the Guardian. Never has a phrase been so finely turned...

Here she is on the kidnapping: "Trinny clawed at Alastair's back with her pen, shrieking "This is my chef!" and dragged him off to her den. Coincidentally, he was called Daniel." Nancy, we are not worthy.

The Daily Telegraph's TV man also tuned in. Tickled by Sir Alan Sugar needling Alastair over the cash-for-honours affair, he's gagging for tonight's sacking. "Worth a few quid of anyone's tax-free donation."

But the Times' reviewer feels somewhat discombobulated by the celeb version of the "black comic fantasy about business".

"Last night seemed like a sitcom Christmas special that skews the original with celebrity cameos and a foreign setting."

Ah, but normal transmission will be resumed tonight when the boss is sure to stop smiling and resume his habitual expression of a man "who's just had a brick thrown through his front window", says the Times. Paper Monitor for one cannot wait to see who will win the inevitable staring contest as Sir Alan or Alastair - neither known for their tolerance of weakness - face off over the boardroom table. Tee-hee!

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