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Paper Monitor

12:33 UK time, Monday, 27 December 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Weekends tend to be a lean time for news. But when Saturday and Sunday coincide with Christmas Day and Boxing Day, the drip-drip of news fare dries up almost entirely.

But little news thin papers doth not necessarily make.

And just when it might seem the news pipes had frozen solid, along come the New Year sales to act as a sort of emergency plumber - warming the pipes with double-page advertisement spreads that help elicit a steady flow of accompanying stories.

As anyone who has needed their non-metaphorical pipework thawing during the recent cold snap will know, the initial discharge is somewhat spluttery.

The Sun takes the opportunity to put its reporters at the centre of the story - with political editor Tom Newton Dunn representing the "first paper inside GCHQ". On behalf of the Magazine, Paper Monitor thanks it for this careful wording.

The paper also has a "Celebs share their candid yuletide pics" page - propping up an adjoining full-page ad for a toy emporium. It features a correspondent who has escaped Paper Monitor's attention of late, despite his Forrest Gump-like habit of popping magically appearing where least expected. Yes, it's Blur's Alex James, who is billed here not as the Independent's cheese columnist, or Radio 4's gardening columnist or some other paper's wonders-of-astronomy contributor, but as the Sun's food columnist.

One of the curtain calls that James never made - doubtless because he was still at school at the time - was on the stage of Live Aid in 1985. The Daily Mirror takes us back to that date with a fascinating piece of myth-busting by David Hepworth - the rock critic and one of the BBC's TV presenters of Live Aid.

Using the peg of a TV dramatisation of the event later this week, Hepworth recounts how Bob Geldof never actually said that notorious expletive-laden line imploring people to give their money.That's not to say Geldof didn't swear on live TV that day, but that famous quote credited to him, it seems, he never actually mouthed.

"It was a classic case of a myth getting half way round the world before the truth could get its trousers on."

On the other hand, perhaps this isn't the season for thinking too hard about myths travelling round the world.

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