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Paper Monitor

12:15 UK time, Thursday, 22 December 2011

A service highlighting the richness of the daily press.

It's panto season and Paper Monitor loves a baddie as much as the next person. But "he's behind you" takes on a whole new meaning as we learn that more than half a million Britons - one in 100 - had pirate ancestors.

And who comes to mind? Johnny Depp, of course. But, while The Daily Telegraph, welcomes the notion of a pirate in the ancestral cupboard -"Next to having a dinosaur as a pet or running a narrow-gauge steam railway in the gardent, this is a highly desirable state of affairs" - it says it is "not quite Johnny Depp that we would want as a kinsman."

Instead, it suggests "someone as carefree and unconventional as William Nicholson's celebrated Pirate Twins".

Paper Monitor appears to have missed out on these children's book characters from the late 1920s, but learns that they were independently minded, incorrigible, loved to get up to high jinks and "not afraid to play dominoes in bed".

The Star also relishes the idea of being descended from a rogue - the research also states that one it 20 Britons are related to a criminal.

Being the long-lost of a villain or a swashbuckling vagabond... cool. I'd blame all my parking tickets on the ancestors.

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