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Paper Monitor

09:27 UK time, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

What's this?

There is no woman of une certain age gracing the front page of the Daily Mail. Not one. Whither Dame Helen Mirren in swimwear, Liz Hurley in a low-cut dress, Ulrika-ka-ka or Camilla laughing next to a horse? For all are Mail's poster women/whipping girls for having it all (but not too much, mind).

All have been ousted in favour of another icon that is elegant, hard-working but ultimately starting to show its age, and anxiously eyeing younger models. Yes, it's a big picture of an incandescent bulb. Bayonet variety.

The headline bellows: "THE GREAT LIGHTBULB REVOLT. Robbed of the right to buy traditional lightbulbs, millions are clearing shelves of the last supplies."

Sounds familiar. Very familiar.

But it's business as usual over at the Daily Star. Its front page is a masterclass in avoidance - LA LA LA what credit crunch LA LA LA Hamas who LA LA LA can't hear you. The front page splashes with Chanelle set to "sex up" the Celebrity Big Brother House. Chanelle. Which one's she? A Page Three girl? A former BB housemate? Wait, got it - she's both. Right?

And perhaps Paper Monitor is showing its age, but the Financial Times headline "Darling in new alert of depth of recession" has something of a Blackadder effect.

Does the Chancellor have a similar relationship to his surname as Captain Darling, the devious, clever assistant to General Melchett, who was so named for comedic effect and twitched every time he was so called?

Or are Paper Monitor's musings simply its own version of LA LA LA great black clouds, what great black clouds LA LA LA?

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