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Paper Monitor

09:32 UK time, Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Economic turmoil, rising international tensions, protesters on the streets of London - the papers have no shortage of serious topics to cover.

Thank heavens, then, that the heavyweight titles are not letting this get in the way of launching in-depth discussions of a Saturday evening talent show.

Over two pages, the Guardian dissects the plummeting fortunes of the X Factor, which - for the benefit of any High Court judges out there - is a popular singing contest broadcast on ITV1.

The report notes that on Saturday, the programme attracted 9.6m viewers, as compared to 12m for an equivalent broadcast in 2010. It questions whether the departure of lynchpin Simon Cowell, the arrival of new judges, the choice of contestants or the songs and costumes they have been given are to blame for the slump.

However, Judith Woods of the Daily Telegraph, once a fan of the show, believes that ennui has simply set in among viewers:

Despite tabloid attempts to whip up controversy with whispers of romance, claims that Kelly Rowland is a diva or that Louis Walsh feels sidelined, there's a growing sense of apathy.

Compassion fatigue has set in when it comes to the cynically promoted sob stories and it's hard to hear the oft-repeated phrases, "This is the best thing that has ever happened to me", or, "This is all I've ever wanted to do in life", and not shout: "That's because you are only 17 and the biggest thing to happen to you so far has been puberty and GCSEs!"

Hopefully this most pressing of modern debates is hereby settled.

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