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Paper Monitor

12:54 UK time, Wednesday, 21 March 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Gosh, what a huge conundrum for large swathes of the UK press. What to do when someone you bash almost daily goes across the pond to the United States, where people actually seem to like them?

Heather Mills - the McCartney has been dropped - is the person in question.

Not a darling of the media over here, she is taking part in the US version of Strictly Come Dancing - Dancing With The Stars. The British press have been willing her to literally fall flat on her face but - shock, horror - she got a standing ovation after her first appearance on the show. Apparently her foxtrot was a triumph and included near full splits.

The Daily Mail is forced to acknowledge her performance, with the headline "HIGH-KICKING HEATHER". But it manages to get a small dig into the last paragraph by mentioning she was the subject of some "waspish" remarks on the message board on the show's official website.

The Daily Mirror rather begrudgingly admits she put in a "gutsy" performance, but quickly adds that her appearance sparked "a storm of protest" on the message board. The Daily Telegraph calls her reception "mixed". But the Sun sticks to its guns with the headline "GET LOST MUCCA". Apparently fans told her to "Foxtrot Oscar" in their messages.

Now for the other big story of the day. Well, for one paper. You've got to hand it to the Independent, it doesn't let things like news and readers get in the way of a boring story. Take this morning's front page - "50 REASONS TO LOVE THE EU". It's certainly an exclusive you won't find it in any other paper.

Not only does it list the reason on the front page - including the introduction of pet passports and making the French eat British beef again - the reader is also treated to two full pages of explanation inside.

The Independent has always prided itself on setting its own agenda when it comes to news and, yes, the front page in question did make Paper Monitor stop and read it, but that is Paper Monitor's job. As for the rest of the newspaper-buying population, it's not predicted to be a day of circulation-busting sales.

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