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Paper Monitor

09:39 UK time, Monday, 24 December 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

You are, by now, safely ensconsed in front of a roaring fire, mince pie and glass of mulled wine in hand, the rain-sodden chaos of your journey a fast fading memory.

That at least, is how Fleet Street appears to picture you.

How else, wonders Paper Monitor, to explain the almost complete absence of weather stories on the front pages on Christmas Eve?

The rain continues to fall in many parts of the country, making long journeys potentially perilous for millions.

But the great Christmas getaway was last week's story, the papers appear to have decided, leaving the problem of what to do with this weird, spare day, on which nothing of any note appears to be happening.

Only the Daily Express splashes on the weather, warning that flood chaos will last until the new year. The same story is relegated to inside pages in the rest of the papers.

The front page void is filled by the Queen in 3D specs "adorned with Swarovski crystals forming the letter Q," according to The Guardian, as she gets a preview of her Christmas speech, which is being recorded by Sky television.

And Paul Daniels. The TV magician's fears that the groupies he attracted when he first hit the big time in the 1970s may not have all been 16 dominate the tabloids.

Only The Sun has the brass neck to call the story, which appeared on Daniels' own blog a few days ago and is covered in most newspapers, an "exclusive".

Not every tabloid has splashed on Daniels' nervy revelations.

The Daily Star has a made-up story on its front page.

"Prince William and Princess Kate have already enjoyed a wild Christmas bash at the Middleton family home - and our amazing snaps show the couple as you have never seen them before..."

And, when you turn to page 6 and 7, there they all are whooping it up around a festive table groaning with turkey and all the trimmings.

Except it's not them. It is one of artist Alison Jackson's famous hoax tableau, which featured in other newspapers last week.

Star readers do not discover this fact until eight paragraphs into the accompanying story, which, Paper Monitor reckons, deserves some sort of award for commitment to a hoax. At least they put some creative effort in to filling the Yuletide void.

Merry Christmas readers!

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