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Popular Elsewhere

14:31 UK time, Friday, 18 November 2011

A look at the stories ranking highly on various news sites.

Guardian readers are clicking on Stuart Jeffries piece concluding that boring popular culture has crushed the spirit of the nation. Just in case your spirit hasn't been crushed yet, he helpfully talks at length about the yawn inducers. And in keeping with the theme, here are his culprits, laid out in a boring list form: Downton Abbey, Adele, home-baking, crafts a la Kirstie Allsopp, novelty knitwear, dull interviews, dressing gowns, National Trust season tickets, butler-length eyebrow extensions, Adele, Mumford and Sons, "cathedral-blighting folk simperer" Laura Marling, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Leona Lewis, polo necks, sensible jumpers, pencil skirts, loafers, brogues, X Factor, Champions' League group stages, Pippa Middleton's "insufferably posh bum", Julian Barnes winning the Booker Prize, spending from now until Christmas watching footballer Robbie Savage bare his torso and, as a sign that more boredom is to come, the Olympics.

As Jeffries points out, dull interviews are on the rise. Given this, it may be unsurprising that Caitlin Moran's Times column, which sorts the nuggets from the drearyness, is regularly at the top of the paper's most read list. This week we hear that former Celebrity Big Brother winner Chantelle Houghton revealed in OK! Magazine what she and her cagefighter fiancee Alex Reid talk about. She told the magazine "he was laughing at me earlier because I thought the Sun and the Moon were the same thing. Turns out they're not!"

Tom Sykes provides a caveat to his popular Daily Beast article on the speculation that Kate Middleton may be pregnant: "Trying to divine whether or not the wife of the heir to the throne is expecting a child has been a well-established British tradition for hundreds of years." But that doesn't let that stop him. He proceeds to note all the clues that could signal a baby is on its way. This turns out to be pretty useful if you want to gossip about closer friends as well: is she avoiding both peanut paste and champagne? Are the in-laws invited round at the last minute for the weekend? Is a law allowing girls equal succession to the throne as boys, being rushed through? Although maybe the last one is only useful for royal watchers.

And finally, Telegraph readers are expressing a sigh of empathetic embarrassment (or are we being too kind?) for the pilot who got locked in his plane's toilet. The cringe continues as the article reveals the plane was in flight during the incident and the pilot's loud knocking on the door triggered a terrorist alert.

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