The Grey Cardigan 16.12.05 - Press Gazette

The Grey Cardigan 16.12.05

THERE ARE no real deadlines on regional evening newspapers any more.
The subs on the night shift wrap things up about 10pm, push a button
and off the paper goes to be printed on an industrial estate near
Milton Keynes.

People actually buy it as they sloth towards work
the next morning, but despite the laughable label of “Late Final”
printed at the top of page one, you know it’s old news and they know
it’s old news. It’s a triumph of hope over experience.

If you’re
lucky you might get the chance to update the paper mid-morning, but in
the current cost-cutting climate many editors are even being denied
that last stab at topicality. And nobody seems to care.

The last
traditional, adrenaline-zapping, vomit-inducing, lifeenhancing deadline
was on the blue, green or pink sports papers in the days when all
football matches kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon and finished
promptly at 4.40pm. It was just you and a computer against the world
while editors and print managers hovered nervously behind you.

seen grown men sweating like shaved pigs in a Tupperware box as that
clock ticked remorselessly towards five o’clock. I’ve seen grown men
cry as they noticed that a part-time copytaker had referred to “Hulking
Stone Rovers” in a rugby league report. I’ve seen grown men faint after
a proof reader (remember them) pointed out a rugby player waving his
willy on a Page 27 team pic, long after the page had gone.

excitement is no more: certainly not here at the Evening Beast, where
the bean-counters killed our sports paper at the weekend.

The Boy
Wonder, who knows nothing about sport, didn’t put up much of a fight.
It’s a decision he may live to regret when he realises that he’s just
severed the last remaining relationship between this newspaper and
15,000 readers.

MARTIN NEWLAND’S redesign of the Daily Telegraph wasn’t a bad job, but one element jars in a most alarming fashion.

The problem is an unusual one – namely Justine Picardie’s intrusive left nipple.

a look. Ms Picardie, best described as “gamine”, has proudly posed for
a new picture to illustrate her Friday column. Unfortunately, the black
and white repro plays havoc with the admittedly modest contents of her
tight T-shirt.

I have nothing against nipples, but this one seems
somehow malevolent. It’s like one of the Mona Lisa’s eyes. Wherever you
are on the page – or even in the room – you just can’t tear your eyes
away from it.

Can no-one spare us from this ordeal? The next thing you know they’ll have Rachel Johnson posing naked… oh!

ON earth is going on at The Sun? The discovery that two of their Page 3
models are “lesbian lovers” has sent them into a frenzy of Sapphic
slavering that makes the Sunday Sport look like the Catholic Herald. Of
course, I take this news with more than a pinch of salt (in fact you’d
better send for a council gritter), but the constant front page teases
and centre spreads featuring Becky (24) and Melanie (23) are in danger
of having The Sun relegated to the naughty shelf in my local newsagent.

they’re too young and attractive to be lesbians. I’ve seen proper
lesbians. They’re either hairy women in sensible shoes who keep cats or
they’re horrifically-pierced, boiler suit-clad monsters with strange
hairstyles who live in Hebden Bridge.

You can contact me, should you be minded, at