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Paper Monitor

10:28 UK time, Wednesday, 27 May 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

There's one thing MPs have in common with journalists, and, it has to be said, estate agents - they all tend to find themselves in the relegation zone when those league tables of most trusted professions are compiled... just teetering above the division that is home to loan shark, baby seal culler and door-to-door chugger.

But following the spate of revelations about MPs' expenses, it looks like Hacks United have found a second wind in the current play-off with their Westminster adversaries.

Evidence can be found in the trend for journalists to put themselves forward as anti-sleaze alternatives to the Commons incumbents. The goal mouth was cleared several years ago by the BBC's own Martin Bell. Yesterday Esther Rantzen, who is a journalist with camera presence, confirmed she would stand in Luton South if the sitting MP was not given the red card at the next general election.

Today's Daily Telegraph brings us news that its own columnist, Simon Heffer, is threatening to size himself up against deputy speaker Sir Alan Haselhurst.

However, the crowd has to ask itself how much of a finger on the pulse of modern Britain does the Telegraph really have when the headline announcing Heffer's challenge reads: "Do the right thing, Sir Alan, or I will stand against you."

In the public consciousness, when you marry the words Sir and Alan, it can only mean one person - and his surname is definitely not Haselhurst.

Clearly, some trouble on the subs bench there.noemi_getty_226.jpg

No such threat from the Daily Express's Julie Welch who seizes on the story of Silvio Berlusconi and 18-year-old lingerie model Noemi Letizia (pictured, right) for her Wednesday column (sorry, an internet link proved elusive).

Welch mentions how Noemi'x ex-boyfriend's pet name for her was "little anchovy" and Paper Monitor is particularly tickled by the Viz-like picture-caption combination in the middle of the column of the flesh-baring model and the line: "ANCHOVY: Noemi".

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