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Paper Monitor

11:35 UK time, Monday, 7 January 2013

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

On a day without any huge stories, the first outing of new reality show Splash! is like manna from heaven for news editors.

The show sees Tom Daley teaching a rag-bag of celebs how to dive before making them compete against each other to see who goes through to the next round.

You can see what the commissioners were thinking. Tom Daley has appeal to both sexes. You get celebs, including Sugarbabe Jade Ewen, in bikinis and Speedos. Jo Brand is one of the judges. Plus diving is scary stuff. A surefire winner, then?

"Tom's Belly Flop" screams the Daily Mirror. Can it really be that bad?

"So awful it makes Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights look like The Wire," the Mirror's Polly Hudson fires back.

The Sun: "Water bomb! Not even Jade Ewen's sexy gold bikini can save Tom Daley's new diving show Splash!"

The Daily Mail follows suit.

"Is celebrity diving TV's biggest belly-flop?"

As the Mail elaborates:

"Every now and then a programme comes on TV that is so gobsmackingly awful, so cringe-making, that you can only watch it through your fingers and, when it's all over, you find yourself questioning whether it really happened or if you just dreamt it."

A failure for ITV then? Up to a point Lord Copper.

Despite the tide of abuse in the papers and on Twitter, six million viewers tuned in, putting it top of the ratings. So bad it's good, perhaps?

Tim Lovejoy's tweet goes to the heart of the paradox that is crap telly. "What's going on? Is the joke on me? Am I being filmed on my sofa?"

We'll leave that one with you, Tim.

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