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Paper Monitor

11:12 UK time, Wednesday, 18 April 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

No shortage of serious news today. All the papers have a welter of coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings, made up variously of photos of the victims, timelines of the event, ripped-off blog entries, and - crucially - cod psychology trying to look inside "the twisted mind of a campus killer". The Sun boils the story down to its essential elements: "SLAUGHTER BY WEIRDO".

But one big (foreign) story does not a newspaper make. So what is leavening the mood for HM Press this morning?

For the Sun, it's the twin revelations that a contestant on ITV's Grease is the Word previously took part in a contest to find Page 3 Idol. And they have the photographic evidence to prove it. That's some job, keeping across the entire database of young women who have at any stage of their youth posed for a Page 3 picture, just in case any of them at any stage of the future become well known for anything other than taking their tops off. Must require a very special talent for remembering faces. And actually noticing them in the first place.

Our old pals at the Daily Express are giddy with excitement that £1 today buys $2, and that AT LAST items such as jeans, tennis rackets and DVDs are finally within our grasp.

The Daily Mail, often dubbed the voice of Middle England, is still smarting at Prince William's rejection of Kate Middleton, supposedly on the grounds that she is too middle class. (Is there such a thing as too middle class? Not on Daily Mail Island, there isn't.) It has a "lighthearted quiz" to help people assess what class they are, and thus presumably how insulted they should be by Wills' actions.

Here's a sampler question:

"Your house was built in:
a) The 1990s.
b) The 1890s.
c) 1790s? 1590s?1190s? Depends which wing you mean."

It's dreadful stuff, really. But that's as nothing compared to the feature it also runs on the "girls" who were looking forward to lucrative careers as Kate Middleton lookalikes who are now "out of a job". Paper Monitor has, on your behalf, stared long and hard at these women. One, if you squint long enough to go a bit dizzy, might just pass for Kate Middleton on a foggy November night. The others? Well, cheer up girls, you've really not lost anything at all.

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