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Paper Monitor

09:37 UK time, Friday, 27 August 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Paper Monitor loves a good list. Not the kind marked "apples, toothpaste, toilet paper" that people take to the supermarket, but those in little grey boxes next to news stories.

And with the summer's hard news drought leaving frugal pickings for the press, stories with list potential provide an oasis of fun and frivolity.

You need only go as far as page three of both the Daily Mailand Daily Expressto find a couple of corkers on "cheesy" chat-up lines which, it is claimed, actually work.

Paper Monitor can picture the news conference which led to their appearance.

Editor: "What have you got for us today, then?"

Reporter: "Well, there's some research suggesting the best way to a woman's heart is through a cheesy chat up line."

Editor: "Hmm. Sounds a bit fishy, was it carried out by a reputable polling company?"

Reporter: "Errrm, well. It was done by an online casino company...[met with general editorial disapproval] But there is a list of the 15 most popular lines."

Editor: "Really? Get it on page three."

There's another beauty in the Times, which reports that BBC executives are seeking a successor to Top of the Pops. A great excuse to rattle off a "pick of the pops" list of the favourite moments through the shows history.

We've got Blur's Alex James wearing an Oasis T-shirt after his band beat their rivals to the Number One spot, Clive Dunn chirping Grandad from a rocking chair and Dexy's Midnight Runners performing Jackie Wilson Said in front of a giant picture of darts player Jocky Wilson.

It also provides the perfect excuse to use photos of John Lennon, Kurt Cobain and - of course - Pan's People.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror's entertainment reporter Polly Hudson has assembled an uber-list in the form of the Ultimate Big Brother Awards. There are gongs for Biggest Hissy Fit, Vilest Couple and Best Escape, among others.

However, number one in the Paper Monitor's Best List of the Day List, is undoubtedly the Sun's "Know your Flos".

In honour of the prime minister naming his baby daughter Florence, it names eight other people called Flo - presumably they couldn't think of another two to make it a top 10.

Florences Nightingale and Welch were inevitably high up the list, but the editorial team has unearthed some gems in Florence in the Magic Roundabout, Aunt Flo from Bod and - Paper Monitor's favourite - ex-footballer Tore Andre Flo.

However, while admiring this splendid selection of lists, Paper Monitor recognises that a picture can, indeed, be worth a thousand words. So you have to acknowledge they are all trumped by a picture of a courgette measuring 5ft 6in in the Daily Mail.

Ones only regret is the lack of any accompanying list of other giant fruit and vegetables from the last 30 years.

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