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Paper Monitor

09:50 UK time, Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Let joy be unconfined! Paper Monitor hails the return of Times 2 as a standalone pull-out section, the lifestyle and features pages having latterly been relegated to an indeterminate position at the back of the book somewhere beyond the business coverage.

Now restored as a proper, take-it-out-and-discard-the-rest-of-the-paper supplement complete with staples to reinforce its separate identity, it once again integrates the interviews, fashion tips, TV listings and Sudoku into one complete package.

The main paper carries a knowing, if slightly odd, leader [subscription required] in praise of the return of the staples. This promises Times 2: The Return has been brought back by "popular demand" and will be "bigger, smarter, funnier, punchier" for having been resurrected:

Just as Mamma Mia! won fresh fans for the music of Abba. Just as Frank Sinatra's voice grew smokier with each comeback. Just as Doctor Who returned to entrance viewers who weren't yet born when the original series was exterminated.

Who imagined that Jonathan Franzen, having already written what critics had crowned the great American novel in The Corrections, would trump it by then writing an even greater American novel in Freedom? And haunting as Leonard Cohen's rendition of Hallelujah was the first time around, did it not enjoy still greater success when reprised by Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright and Alexandra Burke?

Paper Monitor detects the echo of tongue in cheek. But the pledge of greater daily riches is one this column can heartily welcome.

On a sadder, if uplifting note, there are generous tributes to the memory of Claire Rayner from her agony aunt peers.

In the Sun, her successor at the paper, Deirdre - no surname offered, the prefix "Dear" being enough to identify her - pays homage to a "fearless campaigner and champion for the little people".

Dr Miriam Stoppard in the Daily Mirror calls her a "beacon of justice, fairness, honesty and common sense".

Even the Daily Mail - not normally a staunch supporter of the causes championed by Ms Rayner, such as republicanism, humanism and greater frankness about sex - gives over a double-page spread in which Labour peer Baroness Helena Kennedy praises her friend.

Paper Monitor may be an unreliable source of relationship advice, but warmly endorses the above sentiments regardless.

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