BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor

Archives for February 18, 2007 - February 24, 2007

10 things we didn't know last week

17:53 UK time, Friday, 23 February 2007

Snippets from the week's news, sliced, diced and processed for your convenience.

1. Two cups of spearmint tea a day is thought to control excessive hair growth for women.
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2. Less than 5% of cohabiting couples stay together for longer than 10 years.

3. A baby can survive being born after a gestation period of 22 weeks.
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4. Dog bites have doubled in 10 years, judging by admissions to hospital.
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5. Chimpanzees make their own spears for hunting.
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6. Cross-country skiing is a useful skill to have when exploring the moon.
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7. Poor maths is costing UK shoppers £800m a year because they don’t notice when they are short-changed.

8. Peter Hain’s house in Neath has a dancefloor.

9. Trabants were made from plasticised cotton waste, called Duroplast.
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10. Tony Blair still plays his guitar most days.
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Sources: 2: the Times, 22 February; 7: Scotsman, 21 February; 8: Aga magazine;

Seen 10 things? Send us a picture to use next week. Thanks to Alan Chesterman for this week's picture of 10 china dolls.

Your letters

17:07 UK time, Friday, 23 February 2007

Re Morning has Broken - I suspect it's a wedding favourite because it's one of the few hymns people can remember from school. All together now…
Rosie, Cambridge

Re 7 days 7 questions - can anyone tell me how "footless socks" differ from legwarmers (except, apparently, in bagginess)? The 80s are, indeed, back.
Lucy Jones, Manchester

My best friend is Rebecca Hedges of 'Size zero means clothes now fit me'. For the first couple of years of our friendship, we were both size six. Now I'm size 16, I too have a problem getting clothes of a fashionable nature to fit me, as the likes of Topshop and Miss Selfridge do not go up to a size 16. But Becky does get told she looks child-like, and on many occasions has been refused alcohol due to her size. The world is becoming discriminative towards sizes big and small.
Karen Glover

Paper Monitor asks what's going on in the picture of the hoodie pointing a make-believe gun at Dave Cameron. It's not his gun hand that worries me - it's what's going on with the other hand...
Christina, Bath
MM note: All “ver” kids do that these days. We think he is simply resting it.

Paper Monitor is concerned that the youth in question breaches duel etiquette by “shooting” at his opponent’s back. Some versions of the "code duello" would have protected David Cameron as they provided for a referee who would also be armed with a pistol. It was his duty to shoot down either of the combatants who looked as though he may be about to transgress the rules. Wouldn't soccer be a much better game if they adopted a similar rule?
Kip, Norwich, UK

I hate to be a pedant too, Dave (Thursday letters) - don't we all? - but it's the placement of the swearword that's marvellous, not the word in itself; hence it's a grammar issue.
John Henry, London, UK

Re How to Say: Babel. I'm British and have always thought that Babel should indeed be pronounced BAY-buhl. So why my comment? Well consider the word babble - which can mean 'unintelligible speak'. It pains me to say but perhaps the American pronunciation 'BAB-buhl' is more appropriate. (Did the word 'babble' derive from Babel?)
Jordan Walters, Eastleigh

Re Adrian's comment on No 10's mass-mailing (Thursday letters). Hate being a pedant, but nothing much would happen when 1.8m people hit "Reply" at the same time. If they were all to then hit "Send" at the same time, that would be a different matter...
I'll get me coat.
R, Swindon

Am I the only person not to receive an e-mail from Mr Tony Blair?
Sue, Birmingham

Caption competition results

12:29 UK time, Friday, 23 February 2007

Marathon runners
It’s time for winning entries in the caption comp.

This week, runners Ed Stumpf (left) and Sean Cornwell get in some training in London ahead of the six-day Marathon Des Sables across the Sahara Desert. They plan to compete while wrapped in cling-film to show how the world is being suffocated by carbon emissions.

But what’s being said?

1=. Nigel Macarthur
"No one so much as glances. This must be London."

1=. Sean Smith
"Just one little fold at the end of the Sellotape and we'd never be in this mess, Dave."

3. Stig
"That’s what you think now. But when it rains out there, who’ll be laughing then, eh?"

4. Pix6, Vienna
"Er, shouldn't we be wearing natural fibres?"

5. Cayley
Two miles, and three litres of water later, Sean found the design flaw.

6. Gareth Jones, Isle of Anglesey
EU Packaging Regulations: WARNING. May contain nuts.

Thanks to all who entered.

How to Say: Babel

11:59 UK time, Friday, 23 February 2007

A weekly guide to the words and names in the news from Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

We have been having difficulty recommending a single pronunciation for the Oscar-nominated film Babel, by Mexican director Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu (al-ekh-AND-roh gon-SAA-less een-YARR-ee-too).

In British English, Babel is pronounced BAY-buhl. In American English, they say either BAY-buhl or BAB-uhl, and in the native Spanish of the film's director and star, it's bab-EL. All three pronunciations have been used in connection with the film. The film's trailers are little help, as most only show the film's title in writing, without saying it. Since one of the film's themes is linguistic confusion, perhaps it isn't surprising that those involved have been slow to settle the matter.

Last year, Brad Pitt apparently accepted an award saying "Thank you for honouring our film BAB-uhl, or BAY-buhl or bab-EL, we're still arguing how to pronounce it." A piece in The Observer reports that the film's UK distributors, at least, finally settled on the pronunciation BAY-buhl.

Our decision has been to recommend that BAY-buhl is used in all English-language BBC broadcasts, although we have no doubt we will hear all three pronunciations on Oscar night.

(For a guide to our phonetic pronunciations, click here.)

Paper Monitor

10:05 UK time, Friday, 23 February 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

cameron203.jpgWhat's going on in this picture? The young gentleman is pointing a hand gun - a gesture, rather than an actual weapon - at David Cameron's back (aren't there rules of duels that frown on those who draw when their opponent's back is turned?)

"RESPECT?" says the Guardian.

But leave it to the Sun - rather more down with ver kids - to eventually speak to the lad in question after early editions appealed to readers to ring in if they knew him. And the lad the Sun calls "jobless Ryan" resolves a burning question in Monitor Towers as to what the gesture is actually called.

"I raised my hand and fingers in the shape of a gun - it’s what we call a 'click bang' around here. I was doing it for a laugh and a buzz."

But he is not the only one pictured using a gun gesture. The Guardian runs a snap a Morrissey pointing a "click bang" at his own head. He's withdrawn from the race to pen the UK's Eurovision song, you see, and it must be quite a blow.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times runs a "bonus issue" of its glossy Saturday supplement How To Spend It. For anyone unfamiliar with this mag, it does what it says on the tin, packed to the gunwales with features and ads for products so expensive that Paper Monitor, on a mere mortal's wage, does not even recognise half of the brands on offer.

Little wonder, then, that the tagline is "It's time to unburden your payload". A burden? One's heart does not bleed.

Daily Mini-Quiz

09:04 UK time, Friday, 23 February 2007

Yesterday we asked what proportion of weddings in 2005 were civil ceremonies. It's 65% - a slight fall from 2004 -which 43% of you correctly answered. Another 37% said 55% and the rest said 75%. Today's mini-question is on the Magazine index now.

Your letters

17:29 UK time, Thursday, 22 February 2007

With regard to the bronze statue of Margaret Thatcher, I've just seen pigeons in a new, positive light.
Dave Godfrey, Swindon

Hurray! I was starting to think I would never again hear the phrase "a Walter Mitty character", but it's back, more or less, in Fraudulent forensic expert jailed. And is there any (Life on Mars) significance in his having worked in Hyde?
Chris, Witney, UK

Ed in Clacton objects to sentences starting with “and” (Wednesday letters). It may not look right but there are times when its use is warranted. In the field of journalism it is an acceptable technique as it helps a story to flow more easily for readers. I've lost count of the number of times a retired school teacher has complained about poor grammar at my local paper after we used such wording. They don't seem to realise that we do it deliberately and not as the result of some failing in education (which is one of their favourite comments).
Phil, Angus, Scotland

Ed, sadly, the received wisdom these days is that it's perfectly acceptable - ask the Plain English Campaign. And what's more, it's also apparently acceptable to start sentences with "but", "yet", "or”, "for", "so" and "nor". Everything else seems to be going to the dogs, so why not our wonderful language? Hey ho, sic transit and all that.
Sue, London, UK

You can start any sentence you like with “and” if it makes sense. Beginning a sentence with a conjunction is a matter of style, not grammar, just like the split infinitive: they both occur naturally in speech so why not in writing? Just be clear; get your message across.
Hugh Sorrill, Coventry

There are many examples of sentences beginning with “and”.
“And the moral of this story is, don't believe everything you read in e-mails.”
“And they all lived happily ever after.”
My own favourite is “And if you believe that, you'll believe anything.”
Rory, Sutton Coldfield

In Clean comedy, Arthur Smith declares that "A well-placed swear word is a marvellous bit of grammar". I hate to be a pedant, but it's actually a marvellous bit of vocabulary.
Yep, killed that one.
Dave Green, Oxford, UK

I was most amused that, with Paper Monitor's request for small press conference attendances, someone recommended "Recent Developments in Ruminant Nutrition" (which synopsis actually states: "Particularly noticeable, have been the increased genetic merit of dairy cows in many countries" - sorry, I hadn't noticed), to find that customers (plural) who viewed this item also viewed... a small kitchen grill.
Basil Long, Newark Notts

Your caption competition tells me: "Comment Submission Error - your comment submission failed for the following reasons: You are not allowed to post comments." So it's a no-caption competition.
P Anghelides, Southampton, UK
MM note: Apologies to all affected. A sharp kick appears to have rectified this recurring bug. For now.

I liked your plan to uncover the Paper Monitor's gender, John (Wednesday letters), but thought you should know that the Gender Genie thought you were female!
Andrea, London, UK

According to Gender Genie, Wednesday’s correspondents are split thus: John Airey is female, as is Ed. Imogen is male, while John and David Dee are both female. Hmm, either Gender Genie isn't very good, or we have a bunch of impostors.
Sam, London

Re Weddings at 'lowest ever' level, I was interested to learn that "In 2005 only 2.4% of unmarried men tied the knot... For women, the marriage rate in 2005 was also down". This seems to imply some kind of correlation between the two sexes when it comes to weddings, a finding that many of us will be surprised by.
Tim Evans, Bristol, UK

Re What's the cost of e-mailing 1.8m people? What happens when 1.8m people who have received an e-mail from No 10 all hit Reply at the same time? "...And in related news the Government abandoned plans for nuclear power stations when it was found that the heat generated by No 10's e-mail server could be used to power the whole of London."
Adrian, London

The whole plane/child issue reminds me of a handy lecture I heard as a law student. Apparently, to commit the perfect murder you simply have to do the act where no country would have jurisdiction. You begin on a ship outside of any one country's territorial waters (the "high seas"), persuade your victim to jump into the water with you (no pushing, as then the country of nationality of the ship would have jurisdiction) and then murder them in the water. Of course, how you get back onto the boat and to safety is something else. As for the plane issue, the only real decider is the nationality of the parents. Even the nationality of the carriers is a red herring as most countries don't give you a passport simply for being born there.
Chris, Nazareth, Israel

Paper Monitor

10:58 UK time, Thursday, 22 February 2007


A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Let's hear it for equality, eh ladies? Another panel in the glass ceiling has been shattered as the All England Club prepares to close the prize gap between male and female tennis players.

And how does the Daily Telegraph celebrate (other than emblazoning that most comely of winners, 2004 victor Maria Sharapova, across its front page)? With the headline: "EQUAL PRIZE MONEY FOR WIMBLEDON GIRLS."

The Times, somewhat more with the programme, opts for "WIMBLEDON IS READY TO FALL INTO LINE WITH EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN".

And the Sun claims the very same story as an exclusive. Although quite how a tip-off that takes the form of a press conference invite can ever be "exclusive" is anyone's guess. The clue's right there on the invitation - press conferences are never held for just the one journalist. (Paper Monitor suspects that there must be some press conferences so niche that only one journo turns up - on potato taxonomy and nomenclature, perhaps, attended by a writer from Potato Abstracts magazine. Suggestions welcome via the comments button below.)

Elsewhere, the tabloids reflect on what an incestuous world celebrity dating is, getting aerated that Sienna Miller - Jude Law's ex - has been canoodling with a young man who has previously squired Kate Moss, Lindsay Lohan and Courtney Love about town.

"EX ON THE BEACH" shrieks the Daily Mirror above its photo spread of the happy couple. "SIENNA, JUDE'S EX, SMOOCHES WITH MOSSY'S EX, LOHAN'S EX AND LOVE'S EX". If Paper Monitor wasn't paying attention, it would get confused and assume that young Sienna has not one but three boyfriends on the go. Which, of course, she does not.

Daily Mini-Quiz

09:12 UK time, Thursday, 22 February 2007

In Wednesday's Daily Mini-Quiz, we asked how many state primaries were closer to David Cameron's London home than the CofE school he intended to send his daughter. The answer, which fooled 79% of you, was 46, according to the Times. (But after a steward's inquiry, the DMQ must concede the Telegraph has cast confusion on the issue by saying there were 15.) Today's DMQ is on the Magazine index.

Your letters

16:20 UK time, Wednesday, 21 February 2007

I am so glad to see your readers' column. I am 5ft 2 and a UK size four. It is impossible for me to find any clothes that fit. There is so much talk about eating disorders, everybody thinks I am ill. But I am not. I'd rather be a size eight, but just can't put on any weight no matter how much I eat. There are stores for "big sized" people, why not for skinny people? Imagine the controversy that would cause. It is not fair for those who are naturally petite.
Xiaoxiao, London

I received my e-mail from the Prime Minister at 01:53 this morning. I was under the impression that the government had the ability to send 1.8 million emails within 45 minutes. Can the BBC please investigate?
John Airey, Peterborough, UK

I've just read the prime minister's response to those who signed the road petition - does anyone know when it is OK to start a sentence with "and"? Every time I read it, it just feels wrong.
Ed, Clacton, UK

Andy asked about a plane crash on the border of Canada and the US (Tuesday letters) - ha ha Andy, the oldest one in the book. You obviously wouldn't bury the survivors... you might bury the dead though.
Imogen, London

My goodness weren't those Neanderthals brilliant, to have built a hut like the one pictured in this article...
Gerard Linehan, Dublin, Ireland

At last! The answer to Paper Monitor's gender can be found at Gender Genie. Based on the last three entries, PM is male. Except on Monday, when we must assume someone filled in for him.
John, Leeds

Punorama didn't work very well this week, did it? Out of the frying pun into the mire.
David Dee, Matola Mozambique

Punorama results

15:01 UK time, Wednesday, 21 February 2007

It's time for the winning entries in Punorama.

As ever, we gave you a story and you sent us punning headlines.

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday so it's a story about what could be the most expensive pancake ever, on sale for one day only. Topped with Dom Perignon champagne and berries flambéed in vintage brandy, the £95 pancake is served alongside amaretto ice cream with Madagascan vanilla pods.

Our taste buds tingled to Pudding on the Ritz (Gareth Jones, Isle of Anglesey), The Greatest Crepe (Helene Parry), Crêpes of Worth (S Murray) and Crepe Expectations (Simon Rooke).

And Shrover-indulgence (Craig Wall), Treasure Shrove (Kevin, Glasgow) and Shriven to Confection (Michael Sargnet) whet the appetite nicely, before moving on to a taster menu comprised of So dear; what can the batter be? (Brian Ritchie), Batter'll do nicely (Nigel Macarthur), Flash in the pancake (Brett Mitchell, Tim Miller, Brian Gunn) and Panned gold (Sarah, Trieste).

And then, to the accompaniment of brandy and cigars in the drawing room, we savoured A batter class of pudding (Kate Lilley) and Daylight snobbery (Christophe).

Mmm-MMM! Thanks to all who entered.

Paper Monitor

12:39 UK time, Wednesday, 21 February 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Counting schools on a map can be a hazardous business.

Both the Daily Telegraph and the Times have the smart idea of considering which schools David Cameron is snubbing in sending his three-year-old daughter Nancy to a faith school.

But the results are startlingly different [look away now if you haven't already done the DMQ].

According to the Times, there are 46 primary schools within 1.5 miles of his Notting Hill home, excluding the nine Roman Catholic and one Islamic schools. The school Cameron hopes to pick is "less than two miles away".

But the Daily Telegraph says there are 15 suitable schools nearer than the school in question and even names them all on a map.

Despite the differences over figures, there is unanimity among the papers' sketch writers who analyse Cameron's Radio 4 interview in which he made the revelation.

Andrew Gimson in the Telegraph says: "David Cameron wandered into the You and Yours studio and gave a brilliant impression of being a normal person."

And according to Ann Treneman in the Times, "Mr Cameron (sorry, Dave) took every opportunity to emphasise how incredibly normal he is."

Maybe great minds do think alike, after all.

Daily Mini-Quiz

09:05 UK time, Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Yesterday we asked which John Lewis frying pan did Which? say Jamie Oliver's £44 pan was no better than. It's one worth £17 - which 70% correctly answered. A quarter of you said £21, and the rest said £27. Today's mini-question is on the Magazine index now.

Your letters

16:28 UK time, Tuesday, 20 February 2007

I'd like to thank whoever saw fit to ring the burka-wearing escapee in the photo accompanying Jury sees 21 July 'burka escape' - I would probably have missed him otherwise. Thanks again.
Sue, Twickenham

The story on personal account pensions tells us "Employees will be compelled to join the scheme, unless they... choose to opt out" - so not exactly compulsion then.
Basil Long, Newark Notts

Reading the piece on whether hair maketh the woman, I suddenly remembered that Billy Bragg song, Walk Away Renee, a tale of tortured love that ends with the lines: “And then one day it happened/She cut 'er hair and I stopped lovin' 'er”. It was that song, heard in my formative years, which left me in fear of going for the chop in case I got dumped. Ah, foolish days.
Isabella, Glasgow

The talk of the nationality of a baby born on a long-haul flight (Monday letters) reminds me of the old dilemma - if a plane crashes on the border of, say, the US and Canada, where do you bury the survivors?
Andy, Leeds, UK

Thanks for the responses to my question about a baby's possible nationality. I'd always assumed that a ship or plane was governed by the laws of the country where it was registered. I also assumed that a plane was subject to the laws of the country whose airspace it was in. When it comes to a question of nationality, all the factors collide, and I suppose it's a case of deciding which takes precedence. The parent's choice would seem to me to be paramount, but you never know. Can't see how where the plane lands should make any difference though. Perhaps they wouldn't want to feel left out.
Rob, London, UK

Re the DMQ results - the spelling is “Meat Loaf” not “Meatloaf”. You really wouldn't want to meet the gentleman concerned if you spell his name wrong.

Re the picture of 10 scooters. The blue 'scooter' third from the right is a 1150cc 95 horsepower BMW R1150RT motorcycle. So that is a picture of 9 scooters and one motorcycle.
Andy Long, Leicester, UK

Your Punorama comments button is not working. Get it sorted or we will have to resort to sending them in via this box. Which you will duly ignore, thus finding yourselves with no entries this week.
Rebecca, London
MM note: Apologies again, the rubber bands that drive the system snapped. Again. We've retied them.

Can't we just call it Puncake day and be over with?
Kirk Northrop, Manchester, England

The chef who's invented a champagne and berry pancake in today's Punorama story shares their name with the presenter of the student-favourite daytime quiz BrainTeaser. So I suggest that instead of trying to flog it at £95 a time, which will clearly never work, she (he?) instead invites people to ring a premium-rate phone line and picks one of them to win the pancake if they can decipher the challenging anagram: CANPAKE.
Paul Taylor, Manchester, UK

Paper Monitor

11:30 UK time, Tuesday, 20 February 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

A man has been arrested over the letter bombs sent to, among others, traffic enforcement agencies. And oh, how the coverage conforms to type in such cases. There's the requiste blurred snap from his school days in almost every paper... but the Times bags the picture of the day award with its snap of standard-issue stony-faced coppers on guard at his home; beneath the police tape sits a bemused puss, locked in a staring contest with a WPc. Just the facts, ma'am.

Elsewhere, there's more on Britney's new 'do, as of course there would be. The Times recycles its news story of yesterday in T2, ringing around the usual suspects for a psychological post-mortem. Come on down (again) Cary Cooper, the psychologist most likely to answer the phone when a reporter is on deadline.

What does he have to say today? It's a cry for help, a plea for escape from a life that we - yes, us mere mortals who pour over every detail of her life in the goldfish bowl - have made for her. Paper Monitor is duly chastened; and will reflect on this as it reads the Magazine's own piece on how hair is the mark of a woman.

The Times also chats to a snipper of celeb locks, who adds salt in any "[gulp] what was I thinking?" wounds that Brits may be nursing: "She's carrying a few pounds and she has a badly-shaped head."

MEE-ow! That's Paper Monitor's makeover appointment cancelled.

Meanwhile, the Daily Express has Paper Monitor's [unshaved] head spinning.


It is Tuesday... isn't it?

Daily Mini-Quiz

10:01 UK time, Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Yesterday we asked which singer provided teen tennis ace Andy Murray with inspiration in the changing room before he won a tournament in San Jose. It was Meatloaf - which 33% of you correctly chose - who replaced 50 Cent (31% of you) in Murray's pre-match iPod. The rest opted for Bruce Springsteen. Today's mini-question is on the Magazine index now.

Your Letters

16:01 UK time, Monday, 19 February 2007

In response to Rob's question about a hypothetical baby's nationality if born mid-flight, it really depends on the countries involved. Most countries allow you to take the nationality of your parents so your hypothetical (as opposed to real) child could be British or Japanese. Being born on a US plane is the equivalent of being born in the US but again countries have their own rules as to whether a plane gets you nationality (something about the US thinking expectant mothers want to give birth on a plane comes to mind!!) Indian air space is a bit of a RED herring.
Peter, Aberdeen

Rob of London's hypothetical baby will certainly be able to claim British or Japanese citizenship. Depends where it lands next will determine what other nationality it will be able to claim. But there's one thing for sure the baby's nationality won't be English.
Gordon Blazer, Bristol, UK

To Rob, London - the baby will end up playing football for Ireland because his great-great-granny once had a Guinness.
TG, Belfast

Leaving aside the fact that the Sideways Bike seems most promising as a new and creative way to cause injury to yourself and others, I must take issue with one thing: "The seat is shaped like an upside-down crescent." Maybe I've forgotten some of my 'basic shapes' education (it was a long time ago), but since when did a crescent have a right way up? Is it some kind of EU directive relating to French breakfast products?
Ian Rutt, Bristol, UK

Re today's Quote of the Day by Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt - "There are some excellent downhill skiing areas there". Whilst cross country skiing on the moon may be beneficial to future moonwalkers, the reduced gravity would cause Alpine (downhill) skiing to occur at much slower speeds than on earth, ideal for beginners or older astronauts, perhaps.
Sed, Hull

Re your 10 thing that Antony and Cleopatra were ugly, you don't actually believe that a small hunk of metal, worn and aged, is a fair determinant of how a particular historical figure looked, do you? Why has the entire globe pounced on the "news" that "this coin reveals that Cleopatra was ugly?" Most modern sculptors today can't make a decent likeness if they tried, yet we consider ourselves convinced by one old crudely minted coin. Was JFK handsome? The photos say yes, the busts say "not at all."
Maria Amadei Ashot, Berkeley, California

Re Friday's Daily Mini-Quiz, it's unsurprising that of all the household chores the one most hated is the one that serves no real purpose other than vanity. How much carbon would be saved if everyone stopped ironing altogether? For some reason the quest for flatter clothes is somehow worth wasting energy on.
Rob Goforth, Teesside, UK

With reference to this survey on natural beauty, one has to wonder why it was that Fox's biscuits commissioned it.
Basil Long, Newark Notts

Paper Monitor

11:24 UK time, Monday, 19 February 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily papers.

Great day for pictures in the paper. Lots of Britney Spears. There's one with her, clippers in hand, shaving her own head (Daily Mail). One with her part-shaved head making her look like a mullet-headed extra from Star Trek (Sun). And many with her, completely bald, staring straight to camera. In the Times version, she looks like the Roswell alien. In the Daily Star, she looks like a long-lost Mitchell brother. In the Sun, she looks quite cute, really (in Paper Monitor's non-gender-specific view), though the paper's caption says it is a "disturbing new look".

To be honest, Paper Monitor was only disturbed by Telegraph picture of her with half a head of curly hair, sitting on a sofa with Tony Blair having a jovial chat. Until it became obvious that it was actually Art Garfunkel. (More on which, here.)

Meanwhile at the Guardian they must be cursing that cruel news beast. Interviewer James Silver would have been mightily pleased with a big chat he had got with Richard and Judy, during which (and after wine had been taken) he decides to "test Richard's famed indiscretion".

And Richard certainly passes the test, with a liberal sprinking of Anglo-Saxon swear words which certainly aren't daytime fare. It makes a great read. But Silver's interview must have been done and dusted before the story broke that Channel 4 is investigating allegations that viewers were invited to call up to play You Say We Pay (at £1 a time) when contestants had already been selected. The interview is left look rather like an odd PR job, instead of the cracker it would otherwise have been.

And, because it's Monday, we naturally turn to the Express. It is, however, not until page nine that we learn there is a new battle for the truth over Diana's death. So what can have pushed the princess of all our hearts from the front page?

These, in descending order, are the answers.

Picture of Myleene Klass
"Outcry over super-mosque"
Picture of Queen on horse
"Terror fears for Charles and Camilla"
Picture of Kate Middleton, "queen of natural beauties".
Inheritance tax crusade
Pictures - including that unfortunate bikini/waterfall incident - of Myleene Klass.
Cabinet minister affair news.

Daily Mini-Quiz

08:57 UK time, Monday, 19 February 2007

In Friday's Daily Mini-Quiz, we asked which household chore is the most hated? More than half of you (52%) groaned and correctly picked ironing. Nearly a third of you (28%) picked loo cleaning. The survey was by Datamonitor. Today's DMQ is on the Magazine index.

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