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Paper Monitor

12:41 UK time, Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Much as Paper Monitor loved gorging on the media buzz surrounding the Campbell Diaries, its more humble diet of the last few days has brought a different kind of pleasure.

But we should have known the former spin-doctor wouldn’t fade into the background so easily.

Fiona Millar, his partner, has told her story to the Times and - at a risk of indigestion - PM can nobly recount its key contents.

Billed on its front page as “Living with Alastair Campbell”, it reveals very little except, perhaps, that the couple had blazing rows about Iraq, Hutton and putting the bins out.

It’s no surprise Millar has chosen the Times – this is the paper which received many Downing Street exclusives from her partner.

What is a little surprising is that the full version of the story appears in Grazia, a weekly fashion magazine.

Just how New Labour it is, is not clear. But Millar will be keeping exalted company within its celebrity-obsessed pages. The Observer did a feature on Grazia recently and found Victoria Beckham its top cover star with 17 appearances, followed by Jennifer Aniston (13) and Kate Moss (12).

Any wounded pride Moss may feel at being outdone would surely be eased by a flick through today’s Daily Mirror, which curiously puts her face on three consecutive double pages.

Its front page is one the Independent would be proud of, making a visual point about the ageing effect of war on the UK’s young soldiers.

But only the Indy can do the one-word, eco-splashes like it does - “Derailed” aims to highlight the government’s troubled transport policy.

Remember Tony Blair? Used to run the country? No, not Campbell. Blair.

Only the Guardian, his former cheer leader, covers Blair’s last visit to Sedgefield before the by-election.

But it’s hardly a glorious farewell. Its reporter describes Newton Aycliffe’s shopping centre as a “tatty mess” and suggests that having the most famous MP can act against local interests.

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, you have been warned.

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