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Paper Monitor

11:33 UK time, Monday, 18 June 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

We start with an extract from a conversation Paper Monitor had this morning with Joe Public.

PM: "Don't it make you proud?"

JP: "Eh?"

PM: "Britain's sporting triumph - don't you feel imbued, suffused and generally smothered in national self-esteem."

JP: "Eh?"

PM: "Haven't you seen today's back pages… 'Rule Britannia' (Daily Mail); 'Golden Boys' (Daily Telegraph); '…a golden day for Britain' (Times); 'Britain's Hot Talent' (Daily Mirror); "Britain's got TALENT!" (Sun)?"

JP: "Eh?"

Only a few weeks ago, England* was undergoing one of its all too familiar sporting crises of confidence, having flunked out of the Cricket World Cup, flailed around in the Euro qualifiers and lost in rugby to the South Africans. Even Wimbledon looks to be over before it's even started from a heroic Brit standpoint, with Tim Henman crashing out of last weeks' Artois tournament in the first round and Andy Murray injured.

So what exactly is the cause for these celebratory headlines in today's press? The twin triumphs of Lewis Hamilton in the US Grand Prix and Real Madrid in the Spanish league... they're a team with a British bloke in their squad. All right, he might be David Beckham and there might be a delicious irony in the man who has been written off by all and sundry finally coming good, but he didn’t score in yesterday's deciding match and actually went off early, injured.
(The Sun augments this triumphant line-up with the face of Paul Potts - the mobile phone salesman who won the ITV show Britain's Got Talent. Although, as the title suggests, there was little chance of a crafty German, Spanish or Brazilian mobile phone salesman scooping this particular crown.)

Still, in the current climate, you've got to take your heroic sporting achievements wherever you can find them.

*Paper Monitor acknowledges that English sporting disappointments are not entirely consistent with British sporting disappointments, but there's a significant crossover.

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