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Paper Monitor

10:58 UK time, Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Well, that didn't go very well. What you may ask? The little matter of a public appeal to raise £500,000 to save the writing hut where Roald Dahl wrote his ever-popular children's books.

His grand-daughter Sophie Dahl was probably expecting goodwill when she launched a public campaign to raise the money on BBC Radio 4's Today programme yesterday. Well, she didn't get it.

The papers are full of the public's reaction to the appeal. The Daily Telegraph features some of responses on Twitter. "I love a bit of Roald Dahl. But being asked by his millionaire granddaughter to stump up for his shed being moved takes the Wonka biscuit," wrote one person.

The paper then puts the boot in with a few numbers. £10m - estimated joint wealth of Sophie Dahl and her husband Jamie Cullum. £300m - box office takings from the Hollywood version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

And if you haven't already got the message, columnist Andrew M Brown spells it out once again:

"The thing that will have struck most people, though, listening to Sophie's soft and prosperous, Bedales-educated tones on the radio, as she admitted 'it sounds like a great deal of money', was: can the Dahl family really not find the money themselves?"

The Guardian says the Dahls have been called "stingy" and "greed". The Times mentions the mocking comments of journalist Misha Glenny who wrote on Twitter: "Stella McCartney to appeal to taxpayers for money to restring her father's Hofner bass guitar".

But it's not all bad Sophie, the Daily Mail is offering some support. It sent Robert Hardman to go "inside Dahl's dream factory" to see what the fuss is about. His conclusions? "This is no ordinary shed." With the dazzling price tag, I think we'd gathered that.

But he gets slightly more revealing when he describes a table of mementos:

"There is the hip bone which Dahl retained after a hip replacement and a little jar of spinal shavings - another souvenir from that RAF crash. On the opposite wall is a filing cabinet with a bizarre lever wedged into a drawer handle to make it easier to open. This charming artefact, it turns out, was his original hip replacement - itself replaced in a subsequent operation."

So lots of hip bones - real and fake - and a few spinal shavings. Worth £500,000? You decide.

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