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Paper Monitor

13:17 UK time, Thursday, 18 September 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press

Panto season has come early for the papers. After covering the human face of the banking crisis - pictures of sacked staff hugging, in tears and clutching cardboard boxes - it's now all about the baddies.

The Mirror and the Daily Telegraph name a particularly rich individual as chief villain in the HBOS crisis. He won't be named in these pages because money can buy a good lawyer and Paper Monitor has no plans to seek employment outside the BBC.

Metro splashes with the claim from Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, that "spivs and speculators" are to blame.

For a paper that has a younger readership than many of its rivals, the word "spiv" in its front page headline may have left some a little mystified, especially those not acquainted with either St Trinians or Arthur Daley.

So, a quick refresher. According to the OED, a spiv is "a man who lives by his wits and has no regular employment; one engaging in petty blackmarket dealings and freq. characterized by flashy dress".

Talking of sharp fashion, at a time when share prices are crashing, banks collapsing, jobs being axed and house prices tumbling, at least Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton provides some light relief for editors.

Pictures of her at a roller disco dressed in canary yellow hot pants, a green sequinned top and neon pink legwarmers are featured loud and proud in most of today's papers. The unveiling of her "slim, toned" legs is enough for a picture special in the Sun.

In the current financial climate PM is now suggesting a royal replacement for the now-questionable saying "as safe as houses". From now on it's "as safe as Middleton in hot pants getting splashed across the front page".

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