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Paper Monitor

13:50 UK time, Friday, 30 October 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Are the Times leader writers hankering after more creative outlets for their arguments? Paper Monitor wonders because twice this week a leader column in the esteemed paper has been penned in the style of a celebrated author.

On Wednesday it was channelling spy writer John le Carre in recognition of the fact the veteran author has switched publishers after 38 years.

Today, the ghost of Richmal Crompton (creator of the Just William books) has taken hold of the column - a nod to the fact that old style sweets are making a comeback apparently. (Once again, the Magazine doesn't like to blow its own trumpet, but...)

The ravages of time are there to see - William "has less hair to tousle". His gang, the Outlaws, are getting about by on Zimmer frames and Violet Elizabeth is in a wheelchair.

Nevertheless, they are off to the sweet shop to indulge in gobstoppers, sherbet lemons and the like - sidestepping the local supermarket and other totems of modern-day living.

Actually, given that William was 11 years old when he first saw print, in 1922, the old boy isn't doing too badly. Paper Monitor calculates he's hovering around the four-score years and 18 at the moment. Only two more years to go until his telegram from the Queen.

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