BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor
« Previous | Main | Next »

Paper Monitor

13:35 UK time, Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Digesting the coverage of last night's University Challenge final, it dawns on Paper Monitor that HM Press has been guilty of neglecting a key responsibility as the last rounds of the contest were played out - coining a suitable nickname for the unassailable Alex Guttenplan.

For those who couldn't tear themselves away from Channel 5's The Gadget Show, Mr Guttenplan steered his team to victory in last night's final by answering a succession of brain boiling questions.

Even before he lifted the trophy, there had been a bit of buzz doing the rounds about him.

But the closest the papers had come to crafting an original moniker around his name was "Guttenfans" - a term coined apparently on Facebook, and reported by Messrs Mail and Telegraph.

Last year, you may remember, we had Gail "human Google" Trimble. And whenever former Tory minister David Willetts gets a mention in the tabloid press it's always with the tmesis "two brains".

It's not like there's a shortage of sobriquets for intelligent people - brain box, clever clogs, smart ar... you get the drift.

The Mail makes a gallant stab today with "The pin-up Einstein" atop a bare-chested picture of our hero. But the effect is somewhat undermined by the image, which is less Vladimir Putin on his summer hols, more "Oi, put that camera down and stop messing about".

The Mail also, considerately, mentions that young Guttenplan's parents sent him to "£20,000-a-year Westminster School after becoming frustrated at the state education system".

The Mirror weighs in, albeit rather shyly across just one column, with "Master Plan".

The Independent fails to nail to a nickname, though notes his "Harry Potter good looks" while the Telegraph falls back on "wonder kid" and "legend". The sub-editing fraternity can rest easy that these are not handles dreamt up by anyone in their trade - rather terms that have already been used for Mr Guttenplan on Facebook.

Such is the way these days.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.