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Paper Monitor

13:54 UK time, Thursday, 8 September 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Today, we speak in praise of quotes. News is full of facts, but there is great entertainment to be had in the things people say.

There's a prime example in today's coverage of Middlesbrough MP Stuart Bell, who is accused of not having had a surgery for 14 years.

The Independent sends an intrepid reporter onto the "boarded-up streets" of Middlesbrough and the first person he encounters, a 28-year-old bar worker, is the stuff of voxpop dreams.

"He has never walked these streets. With a bald head and a suit he'd get beat up - he'd be battered," says the barmaid, who believes - but cannot be sure - she voted for the chap at the election.

You can imagine the head of the local regeneration agency gently weeping into his cornflakes.

There is more in the Daily Mail, where there's a story about dangerous items that dangle from rear view mirrors.

The study lists: "Small pots, shamrock, a leprechaun, a camera, ceramic animals, furry dice, boxing gloves, a Margaret Thatcher doll, a turquoise peace sign charm and a miniature horse."

The man from the AA helpfully adds: "A large teddy bear could easily form a blind-spot to obscure sighting of a pedestrian or cyclist." Well, yes.

Inadvertent amusement isn't the only thing of course. Quotes can be poignant.

So is the case in the extraordinary story of 81-year-old Joy Tomkins in the Sun who got "do not resuscitate" tattooed onto her chest.

"When my time comes I do not want to end up half-dead, I want to be fully dead. I don't want my family to remember me as a lump."

The journalists could not say it better themselves.

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