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Paper Monitor

11:41 UK time, Friday, 6 May 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

She's back - Marina Hyde, Paper Monitor's favourite columnist. And Marina, you had me at "manacles, preferably".

She's returned to the Guardian's Lost in Showbiz column, the fifth horsewoman of the apocalypse, her thundering steed symbolising the death of true celebrity under a hail of Z-listers in Ugg boots and bikinis.

Back in saddle after time off to tend to a mewling infant, her powers are undimmed:

What links Peter Andre, Kerry Katona, weirdo life coaches the Speakmans, Frank Lampard's ex, and the vajazzler off The Only Way is Essex? If you answered "manacles, preferably", then prepare for disappointment. They are all managed by Claire Powell, boss of Can Associates (hereafter: "the organ grinder").
Peter Andre

Hyde on Andre: "Pinocchio with better hair products"

This is the talent agency/production company/paparazzi rustler behind ITV2's Peter Andre: The Next Chapter, ITV2's Kerry Katona: The Next Chapter, OK! magazine WORLD EXCLUSIVE interviews with the same, and so on.

Where once Britain's economy was underpinned by non-renewables such as coal and Shakespeare, Can Associates has tapped into renewables - an infinitely replaceable and interchangeable procession of reality TV stars, Wags and famous-for-what-exactly? types.

What would happen if this house of cards came tumbling down? Over to Hyde:

Make no mistake: the demise of Can Associates would cause the immediate collapse of six celebrity magazines, ITV2, and the Ugg futures market.

A chilling vision indeed.

Hyde's comeback means only one thing. Paper Monitor can once again don its Don King wig and stage another face-off between Lost in Showbiz and Celebritywatch, its rival in the Times.

Hyde v Caitlin Moran - this is one catfight you won't want to miss. Ding ding!

Moran comes out fighting with disappointment that Mariah Carey didn't follow through on her promise to name all her children "Mariah".

Come on, Mariah! You're Mariah! You know you want to call them "Mariah". Even though one is a boy! We know you want to rename everything within your visual range "Mariah".

Hyde counters with a devastating description of Elton John's White Tie and Tiara Ball - "an event easily as exclusive as a Nigerian e-mail scam".

Moran feints, ducks, weaves, then jabs with her nomination for THE Quote of 2011 - REM's Michael Stipe on a dinner party at Gwyneth Paltrow's house: "A duck she was cooking caught fire and she threw it in the pool."

This quote has it all: Paltrow screaming "Where is the oven glove?", Coldplay husband Chris Martin handing her a useless damp tea towel then bursting into tears, Stipe watching it all, muttering "I am Michael Stipe. I am too mysterious to touch burning repast" and, eventually, a duck in a swimming pool.

But Hyde isn't on the ropes for long. Throwing off her gloves, she bare-knuckles it, with a trademark what-the-Karaoke-Sauron-will-do-next blow:

By 2018, the entire nation - and probably the world - will be sitting in slack-jawed thrall before a format in which Simon [Cowell] merely informs a contestant whether or not they may live. (Calls to congratulate him will cost £1.50 from a BT landline, but calls from other networks and mobiles will be considerably more.)

Knock-outs. Both of them. Hyde - arm aloft. Moran - ditto. You're both winners in Paper Monitor's eyes.

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