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Paper Monitor

13:44 UK time, Monday, 8 March 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

How to report a story that hasn't actually happened?

It's the morning after the Oscars night before, and the winners and losers are the water-cooler topic de jour.

Except in Newsprintland, where readers are invited to travel in time back to Sunday evening - when Britain really was still in with a shout for the best actor/actress award and James Cameron's substantial ego was still defiantly undented.

So how do the papers induce the font page Oscars vibe without mentioning the elephant in the room?

It's a subtle game of picture and text and finding a story to deflect the reader from asking "but who actually won?"

The Daily Mail runs with a theory that Mariah Carey stood on the red carpet and dropped a hint that she was pregnant. How do we know? She told reporters that:

"something special"

...was about to happen.

So, no chance then that she was just referring to the imminent awards do.

With such overwhelmingly conclusive evidence, how could the Sun have missed that line - preferring instead to extract a pun out of Carey's outfit. She was, apparently, a "thigh-light" of the Oscars.

The Daily Telegraph runs with Britain's two big - and ultimately unsuccessful - hopes for a gold statuette: Colin Firth and Carey Mulligan.

The Daily Express meanwhile focuses on the travails of 21st Century Renaissance woman Myleene Klass - at the Oscars in her capacity not as a bikini model or mother or knife-wielding vigilante or concert pianist, but as a reporter for CNN.

There she is with her flowing pink dress which just so happens to have a long slit up the side. And wouldn't you know it, she got it caught in the heel of her stilettos and... and... and she ended up "showing off more of her toned legs than she might have wished". As if.

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