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Paper Monitor

11:03 UK time, Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Paper Monitor likes it when multiple news outlets basically all decide at once to run variations on the same feature.

And so it is today, in the wake of BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce's admission that she dyes her hair because she believes television cannot tolerate grey follicles on older women.

The Daily Telegraph contrasts a montage of ladies in the public eye who are "sticking to colour" - Anne Robinson, Esther Rantzen, Joanna Lumley - with a selection of what the paper terms "silver foxes" - Kate Adie, Dame Judi Dench, Anna Ford.

Below, writer Linda Kelsey explains why she stopped dyeing her hair and then, after six months, reverted to the bottle. "What I learnt was that as a fake brunette I feel, if not exactly younger, certainly more youthful," she says.

The Daily Express takes a similar tack - although it's keen to invite male readers to the party.

"What's wrong with going grey?" it asks, above cheerful-looking photos of Ford, Julie Walters, George Clooney and Tom Jones.

By contrast, the Daily Mail's angle is rather more arresting.

The main body of the text is an article by former Countryfile presenter Miriam O'Reilly, who successfully sued the BBC for age discrimination, about television's hostility to visible signs of ageing among women.

But the focus of the piece is a series of photos in which popular female presenters such as Nigella Lawson, Carol Vorderman, Sarah Beeney and, of course, Bruce herself are photoshopped to give them silver manes.

Some might say that was an example of having one's cake and eating it. However, Paper Monitor values the experience the Mail has gained during its long history of publishing articles about female body image.

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