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Paper Monitor

11:48 UK time, Thursday, 11 April 2013

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Sometimes an incongruous detail is all you need for a great story. Like putting Madonna and Gary Neville in the same headline.

"Madonna's very rude...Gary Neville has equally dazzling stature but better manners", goes the Daily Mirror headline.

The story is badged "It's Official" suggesting there may be an element of tongue in cheek. As might the picture of Neville wearing an England tracksuit, captioned "Dazzler", on one side of the page with Madge in a Panama hat on the other.

The paper reports that the Malawian government made an "astonishing attack" on the US artiste after she visited her charity in the southern African country last week.

The reason for the spat remains vague. The paper reports that she was "left fuming after being snubbed by president Joyce Banda and having to queue with economy passengers at the airport as she flew out of the capital Lilongwe".

The government statement accuses her of wanting Malawi "to be for ever chained to the obligation of gratitude".

Other papers note though that the government diatribe follows the sacking of the president's sister as head of Raising Malawi, Madonna's charity there.

But the story's real joy is in the ill-assorted mix of celebs the government lists.

"It is worth making her aware that Malawi has hosted many international stars, including Chuck Norris, Bono, David James, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville who have never demanded state attention or decorum despite their equally dazzling stature."

Paper Monitor guesses that the Mirror subs had a little chat about which of the three footballers to pair with Madge in the headline.

Which would jar most incongruously next to the "Queen of Pop"? Somehow, ineffably, Gary Neville wins every time.

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