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Paper Monitor

11:34 UK time, Wednesday, 4 April 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The Daily Telegraph's recent redesign by stealth saw the promotion of its gossip column Spy, bumped up from the nether regions of the paper to page six, and the creation of a new Earth watch column (the writing of which seems mostly to consist of repeatedly hitting the keys E and U).

For chatty columns are quite the things these days, and so just the subject for today's instalment of the Magazine's own chatty column.

Sadly, the lovely young gel whose by-line photo typically graces Spy went off on her hols not long after the redesign - thus severely depleting the Telegraph's quota of posh totty pics - only to be replaced by a much cuddlier - and more male - columnist.

As fond as Paper Monitor is of the Telegraph as a whole, when it comes to chatty columns, we've got a side flirtation going with People in the Times (hi there, Hugo Rifkind and underlings - let's do lunch, you gorgeous creatures).

No-one does it quite as well as People, although many try. The Guardian's own People is but a pale imitation. It devotes 130-odd words to Boris Johnson's latest efforts to insult his fellow Britons, this time with a pop at Portsmouth, but it takes the Times' People to spot that boundary changes have given the Tories a toe-hold in what was a LibDem stronghold. Until now. Expect Boris in sack cloth and ashes pounding the streets of Portsmouth any day...

In a further show of genius, People has been making daily calls to the Iranian Embassy in London, asking it to perform the duties of a business exactly 1.7 nautical miles away. Today it's to order tulips from the flower stand at Paddington Station. Yesterday it was to order a pizza after confusing the embassy with Bella Italia at 108 Queensway. "Silly old us... Still, it's only 1.7 nautical miles away, an easy mistake to make."

Paper Monitor has such a crush...

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