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Paper Monitor

12:45 UK time, Friday, 4 December 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Roll up, roll up, it's time once again for Celebrity Column Smack-down. No ticket required, and you, sir, you can leave your hat on.

Yes, it's time once again to broadcast Paper Monitor's favourite AND best Friday pastime - to square up the Guardian's Mighty Marina Hyde v Caitlin "The Magnificent" Moran of the Times. The last time one of these bouts went out free-to-air, rather than inside Paper Monitor's head, was back in April.

To the uninitiated, these two are no mere gossip mongers. They are crystal-ball gazers of the highest order, reading the runes of celebrity misadventure to predict the fast-approaching apocalypse.

Ding ding!

Moran's Celebrity Watch comes in fast with a left jab:

"Did you see the Jeremy Paxman/Sting face-off on Newsnight? Ooooh, it was like watching two haughty anteaters squabbling over the last pink wafer in the Fox's tin..."

[A brief pause for Paper Monitor to revel in the mental image...]
"...'I'm joined now by the singer known as Sting,' Paxman nostrilled, by way of introduction. There then followed three minutes of mutually antagonistic proboscis-waving over the plight of the Amazon."

Hyde's Lost in Showbiz counters with a pithy observation about Simon "X Factor" Cowell and Philip "TopShop" Green, "the least troubling double act since Ernst Stavro Blofeld invited a white Persian cat on to his lap". I got chills, and they're multiplying. Because the twosome are forming their very showbiz SPECTRE.

"I really do think it would be helpful in the long run if you started thinking of them as an independent nuclear state."

Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee...

Moran reels briefly on the ropes, but bounces back with news of the mini-Beckhams' latest family trip:

"And it was to - Yogurtland! CW hopes that this is the beginning of David and Victoria introducing swingeing disappointment and ennui into their children's lives, and looks forward to visits to Sprouts-tasia, Chessington World of Homework and Peas Knee Land - an amusement park themed around the important work done by peas, and knees."

Biff bam boom.

But Hyde's got more in the tank:

"Let us return to occasional Lost in Showbiz feature Rap Moguls of the Credit Crunch, in which we examine how the uncertain global economy is affecting hip-hop's most loaded. Behold, then, Bad Boy Entertainment CEO P Diddy, seen this week entreating velour pantsuited Home Shopping Network viewers to buy his tat...
'This is not a celebrity fragrance,' he [said]. 'This is a designer luxury fragrance. I went into the fragrance lab and designed this to a particular taste level. I have a very sensitive nose.'
No doubt, no doubt."

But Moran can tackle the Diddy Man too. Despite his claims to contrary, she reckons his I Am King fragrance is "little more than jumped-up, rap Hai Karate".

And then she lands a killer:

"This week, the whole world broke into two camps. In Camp One was Tiger Woods, the world's No. 1 golfer, who claimed that last Friday night he crashed his car while reversing out of his drive, and had to be rescued by his wife, who broke a window with a golf club to release him. In 'Camp Two' was the rest of the Earth, who did that wobbly-head thing people do on Ricki Lake, and went: 'Nuh uh!'"

Paper Monitor's own attempt at a wobbly-head thing - perhaps not the wobbly-head thing - raised smirks from colleagues. That and when Paper Monitor snorted tea out its nose re the pink wafer bit.

So - ding ding! - Moran wins and is the new heavyweight champion of Celebrity Column Smack-down. To you, worthy winner, the spoils - the last pink wafer in the Monitor Towers biscuit tin

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