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Paper Monitor

12:25 UK time, Friday, 6 March 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a Fleet St picture editor. You are putting together Friday's paper, and despite a nip of frost, spring is in the air. What you need is a playful, yet still newsy, photo to liven up the front page, something to stop 'em in their tracks with a hint of "will you look at that?!?" about it.

dailytelegraph6march.jpgThe Daily Telegraph really nails the Friday feeling with the photo reproduced here. Crufts is always rich pickings for the old "spot the difference between dog and owner" trick, and two blondes grooming an Afghan hound is a photo op too good to pass up.

The Times, and Dailies Mail, Mirror and Express go for Michael Jackson during his four-minute appearance in London. The King of Pop's rather tarnished crown rests atop decidedly otherworldly facial features - now with an even more exaggerated chin dimple - and in choosing a close-up, the implied message echos the circus call of old - roll up, roll up, pays your money and sees the freak show.

The Sun and Independent take a different tack - schadenfreude, which certainly cheers up some of the people, some of the time.

"Cole in cuffs (It couldn't happen to a nicer bloke)" chortles the red-top, immensely chuffed at Ashley's arrest for drunk and disorderly behaviour... and, the icing on the cake, while his wife Cheryl is climbing a mountain for charity.

The Indy, meanwhile, has its own fallen poster boy - Heston Blumenthal, half celebrity chef, half mad scientist, whose restaurant remains closed after a mystery illness struck those dining on his elaborate culinary inventions.

Finally, is this the most unlikely News in Briefs ever? On page three, topless Claire, 24, from Dublin, is "pleased to see Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg make a grovelling apology to The Sun's Trevor Kavanagh after nicking parts of his column. She said: 'I'm glad this sneak was found out. What a cheek!'"

Of course she did...

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