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Paper Monitor

12:11 UK time, Tuesday, 20 October 2009


A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It can be hard doing the same job day in and day out. Things can get a little samey. But then there are days when it's obvious that one has the best job in the world. Well people, today Paper Monitor feels the latter (as always) and it's all thanks to one paper - the Sun.

It's vintage stuff from the off, with a front page consisting of a tale of the fattest man in the world, a large picture of a scantily-clad woman and a smaller one of Winston Churchill giving a rather different V sign than he's normally associated with.

"WORLD'S FATTEST BLOKE LIVES IN IPSWICH" screams the headline in capitals. Ah, it makes one proud to be British. It's a headline that's so big it barely leaves room for the all-important picture of 70-stone Paul Mason. Of course, enough space has been spared on page one for a large picture of Jenson Button's lingerie-model girlfriend in her - erm - lingerie. Winston and his gesture are squeezed into the bottom left.

On page five the story of the world's fattest man is pretty much told in the headline, which encompasses the three facts its readers need to know - he eats 20,000 calories a day, has been stuck in bed for eight years and costs the taxpayer £100,000 a year. There's a bigger picture of him in his special 3ft-wide wheelchair and a map showing his journey to hospital in a specially-built five ton ambulance. He's lucky to be alive, says the Sun GP Dr Carol Cooper. Bish bosh. Job done.

Turn the page and the next big front page question is answered. Jenson Button will be having sex with his girlfriend on Friday, everyone. Jenson is "still not in pole position" - as the paper puts it - because Jessica Michibata is currently modelling in Japan. But she's back in three days so drama over.

Turn the page again and the third big question is answered. Who is on the receiving end of Churchill's V sign? It's the BNP. And it's a doctored picture, which reverses his V for Victory into, you know, the other one. The paper says Army chiefs are giving the BNP the "two fingers" for using Britian's proud military history for propoganda.

But the real Sun magic comes on page 22. Bananas are good for you and very cheap at the moment, so how do you make that into an interesting story? Make a journalist live on them, and nothing else, for a week. We get a day-by-day diary from Nick Francis, who ate 109 bananas in all and spent just £6.54 for his week's food. Just in case you can't quite picture how many bananas that is, the article is bordered with 109 banana photos.

The piece also responsibly has medical advice from Dr Cooper - busy day for her - just in case any readers are tempted to try this at home. Her conclusion? This diet will give you wind and could lead to impotence and infertility, so don't do the diet "if you want to impress in the sack".

Jensen Button, take note.

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