Newspaper headlines: Leicester City, health 'MOTs', tip transparency

Leicester City fan Image copyright Reuters

The colour blue is notably dominant across Tuesday's papers. On front pages, back pages, inside pages, editorials, sport supplements and souvenir pull-outs, the papers go to town on Leicester City's historic first-ever Premier League title.

"The Incredibles" is the Daily Mirror's back-page headline, with the paper calling the team "the most amazing champions in history". "These are the daydream believers for whom the six o'clock alarm never rang", says the paper's chief sports writer Dave Kidd, channelling 60s boy band the Monkees.

"These are the motley crew of bargains and rejects, journeymen and rogues, who gatecrashed a footballing VIP area not so much roped-off as barricaded after years of Champions League riches," Kidd adds.

Ex-England striker Ian Wright, writing in the Sun, calls Leicester's march to the Premier League title "the most incredible, jaw-dropping story the football gods have ever conjured up". He adds that the club's achievement "shows what can be achieved by togetherness, hard work and professionalism".

"Leicester winning the league is the universal triumph, uniting every level of the game and restoring elements in the sport beyond new money," writes Paul Hayward in the Daily Telegraph's special Foxes' supplement.

The Telegraph reflects on Leicester's efforts in its leader column, saying it is a story "worthy of the Boy's Own Paper", as a team "from a relatively small and unglamorous town has come back from near disaster a year ago to overcome flashier, richer rivals".

Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail waxes lyrical, regarding the Foxes' achievement as "an event you will want to tell your grandchildren about". He also notes that Leicester were 5,000-1 outsiders for the title with the bookies: "that means if the Premier League continued every year from now until 7016, by the bookmakers' estimation, Leicester would win it once."

The Guardian's Owen Gibson pays credit to Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri: "He kept things simple, lifting the pressure from his side and focusing relentlessly only on the next game, admitting only recently that the title was in sight with his 'Dilly-ding, dolly-dong' rallying cry."

The Times reports there is still one more unlikely twist in the Foxes' tale - that casting has already begun for a biopic of the team's leading scorer, Jamie Vardy. There's also the unanswered question as to whether ex-Leicester player Gary Lineker will present Match of the Day in his underpants, as he said he would if his old team won the league.


Healthy cynicism

"Almost useless" is how the Daily Mirror assesses the efficacy of mid-life health "MOTs" provided by the NHS in England at a cost of £450m a year.

Researchers have found that around 1,000 lives a year have been saved "at best" following the introduction of NHS Health Check in 2009, the paper reports, while only preventing one heart attack or stroke for every 4,762 people.

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The Daily Mail says that having a check "only reduced the 10-year risk of suffering cardiovascular disease by 0.21%" compared with people who had not taken part in the scheme.

"There were very small improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels and lowering people's weight," reports the New Day. It quotes the report's lead author, Kiara Chang, as saying the scheme offered "very modest benefits" when it came to early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases.

The Sun notes that just 21% of eligible patients - people aged between 40 and 74 - have had one of the health checks.

Public Health England has pledged to review the scheme, reports the Times, but the paper says two years ago international experts "warned the health check programme 'operates in direct conflict with the best available evidence'". The paper cites analysis of 14 trials of similar schemes, which found they did not cut deaths or keep people out of hospital.

The paper's article is accompanied by a cartoon of a doctor telling his patient "I'm referring you to Kwik-Fit".


Eye-catching headlines

  • Rubber gloves pet costs owner £1,200 - the Daily Express reports on the unusual tastes of Ruby the terrier, who cost her owners a pretty penny after swallowing 24 rubber gloves. Ruby's owner has since discovered the animal had eaten a box of gloves he uses for gardening. The dog has made a full recovery, the paper notes.
  • Dieting, the way to boost love life - even if you're slim - a US study, reported in the Daily Mail, suggests that cutting calories can raise libido, even among people who have an "ideal" body mass index. The paper adds that cutting calorific intake by 25% also boosts people's sleep and mood- but that wouldn't make as good a headline.
  • 'Vicious' interviewers don't get to the truth, says Peston - Ex-BBC reporter Robert Peston is setting out his stall ahead of the launch of his new ITV Sunday show, by telling the Radio Times (reported by the Daily Telegraph) that interviewers should disagree with their guests in a "less vicious and vindictive" way to get the best out of them.
  • Man sues former employers for boring him out of his mind - the Guardian reports on a French man who is seeking £280,000 from the company that made him redundant because his job "was so tedious he became exhausted and bored out of his mind". Frederic Desnard described the feeling as like burnout, but less interesting.

'Death knell' for breast cancer

Several papers pick up on the apparent breakthrough in understanding the genetic mutations that lead to breast cancer, with the Daily Mail saying it is "landmark research" which "paves the way for new and better treatments".

The Daily Express reports that the study looked at the genomes of 556 women and four men and "focused on mutations that encourage the disease to grow and the patterns - known as mutational signatures - in each tumour".

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According to the Sun, scientists have "uncovered 93 sets of 'instructions' for genes that, if mutated, can cause the disease".

The researchers were also able to to "map the mutations present in each cancer case", reports the Guardian, which could lead to widespread use of treatments tailored to each patient.

The Times suggests this could be achieved by building up a database of possible mutations that can cause the disease, so the specific cancer of a particular patient can be identified and treated accordingly.


What the commentators say

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Media captionJournalist Rachel Shabi and Ben Riley-Smith of the Daily Telegraph review the front pages

Testing times

Thousands of children aged six to 14 are expected to miss a day of school on Tuesday, reports the Sun, as part of the country's first-ever pupils' strike.

The paper says parents are protesting at the "over-testing" of youngsters, with almost 40,000 signed up to the "Let Our Kids Be Kids" campaign. The Sun's story leads off on a warning from Education Minister Nick Gibb that any strike "would be damaging to pupils and undermines the hard work of teachers".

The I explains that the boycott is in protest at exams for six and seven-year-olds, known as Year Two Sats, with organisers saying children are "over-tested, over-worked and in a school system that places more importance on test results and league tables than children's happiness and joy of learning".

The Guardian speaks to a former head teacher who is taking her two boys out of school with a group of other pupils and parents. Jo Scrimgeour tells the paper there has been an "enormous narrowing" with the new curriculum, and that she wants her sons to be "playing in the mud and finding mini-beasts, not underlining adverbs".

According to the Daily Telegraph, in some schools up to half of Year Two pupils are likely to be absent, risking a fine of up to £120. But, the paper says, some head teachers "are set to turn a blind eye", and will record the absent child as being educated off site.

The Daily Mail says those behind the idea of a day-long boycott "have been accused of having a political agenda", with the paper reporting "questions over whether the so-called 'kids' strike' is part of a wider... campaign after possible ties with trade unions emerged".


Tipping point

When my sister and I ate out in restaurants as children, my dad's stock answer to the question "have you got a tip for the waiter" was always "yes, be quicker next time". His consistency in batting away concerns of stinginess or over-generosity belies the anxiety some people have about the whole issue of gratuities.

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According to the I, the government is consulting on moves to ensure payments for service should be voluntary to the consumer and received in full by workers.

Food critic Grace Dent, writing in the same paper, applauds Business Secretary Sajid Javid for "trying to put a fork in the slippery world of restaurant tipping policies", adding that "we know by now it rarely reaches the server who went that extra yard to help us, either fully or at all".

Lucy Mangan in the Daily Telegraph also welcomes Mr Javid's intention to bring greater transparency to the practice of tipping. "Tell us exactly where the money is going (to staff, to company profits, straight into the hold of the owner's newest yacht, whatever)," she writes.

The New Day reports the view of restaurant critic Andy Hayler, who says tipping is an "anachronism". "We do not tip nurses or shop workers because we assume that they are being paid to do a job and take some pride in it. To treat waiters in a different fashion is bizarre," he says.

The Daily Express notes that Britons leave an average gratuity of 7%, although this rises nearer Christmas, and waiters who smile or touch the customer lightly on the arm get more.


Making us click

I - I was a thoughtless anti-Semite like Naz Shah and far too many British Muslims

The Guardian - The Leicester Supremacy - a triumph that was never supposed to happen

Daily Mail - Hundreds of well-wishers donate £2,000 to waitress who was refused a tip by 'racist' black Oxford student because she was white

Daily Telegraph - Teen dies after shooting himself in head while taking selfie with dad's pistol

Daily Mirror - Mayhem on the streets of Newcastle as clubbers hit the Toon