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

Paper Monitor

10:01 UK time, Monday, 16 August 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Look out, Drunk Girl - you've got a rival:

A girl sits hunched in the gutter of Newquay's main street - retching into her lap and covered in her own vomit.

She is blind drunk, unable to stand and barely conscious after pumping herself full of cheap shots and alcopops all night.

Sick soaking her skimpy skirt and trickling across her legs, she lets out the occasional sob. A pink cowboy hat lies on the ground and her mates are nowhere to be seen.

This tableau - illustrated with a photo of said young lady - is, according to the Sun, evidence that Newquay, Cornwall, is "wilder than Ibiza".

"By day, it is an attractive resort, noted for its sandy beaches and surfing and alive with mini-golf, bowling greens and ice cream parlours," according to intrepid reporter Nick Francis. "But when darkness falls, it takes a seedy turn."

Is this meant to be a bad thing? Paper Monitor cannot surely be alone in rushing to dig out the sandals and book the train in anticipation of this enticing blend of quaint and seedy. Such complementary qualities have sustained Saltcoats, Skegness and Blackpool for generations.

What the Sun fails to mention is that Cornwall is where David Cameron is currently spending his summer holidays - not that Paper Monitor can picture the prime minister sobbing, prone, in the middle of the road after too many alcopops. Although it would be a novel way of engaging with Broken Britain.

No, what interests the Times is the fact that, as the PM and family side-step the pink cowboy hats throughout the west country, Nick Clegg is in charge temporarily - the first Liberal thus empowered since Lloyd George some 88 years ago.

"It is always tempting, while the boss is away, to take the opportunity to change a few things," the editorial intones. Paper Monitor doesn't want to speak out of turn. But if Mr Clegg is reading this, black is a terribly gloomy colour for a front door.

The Daily Mail's readership may not be entirely ecstatic at the prospect of a Lib Dem running the country, so the paper runs a feature on seven middle-aged men, who, apparently, make up to £500 a day as David Cameron impersonators.

Paper Monitor puts the emphasis on the word "apparently", and would feel somewhat short changed in the event of booking any of them (although one, Bentley Browning, 40, does bear an uncanny likeness to new social mobility tsar Alan Milburn).

The Mail agrees, putting the disclaimer "Just don't look too closely!" at the end of its headline.

"It's a fantastic ice-breaker with women," insists Paul Jarvis, 42, of south London, whose resemblance to the prime minister Paper Monitor struggles to see (and the Mail agrees, giving him a "Dave's Double Rating" of 3/10).

"I get a lot of girls coming up to me in bars, and none of them has thrown a drink over me so far."

It may, however, be a different story in Newquay.

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.