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Old 19th Mar 2008, 12:18   #141
kirsty
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An English couple commemorate their late pets...
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Old 19th Mar 2008, 12:21   #142
ono no komachi
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Cosy! Do you think they smell funny if they wear them in the rain?
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Old 19th Mar 2008, 14:12   #143
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The 73-year-old said: "They are extremely warm and pretty much waterproof. I've always got a sweat on by the time I get from the bus to the shops."
Ugh, that's more information than I wanted to know.
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Old 19th Mar 2008, 14:54   #144
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The 'substantial' amount of money is said to be £650000, which ought to be peanuts for the Express group, and they're doing their best to get some PR capital out of what they're doing. If they sold an extra 30000 copies for each of the 42 stories, they're probably in profit.
£550,000 in fact. The Express papers don't make a profit and haven't for years, and with circulation in continuing decline it doesn't look like changing anytime soon. They're basically an attempt to buy kudos for the proprietor Richard Desmond, whose money comes from other ventures like OK! magazine and his pay-TV porn. (He sold the dirty mags a few years ago to try to clean up his image. Unfortunately it turns out that the scum that tarnishes everything he touches comes not from the projects but from him.) Over the last few years, the editor Peter Hill (known to Private Eye readers as Peter 'Mentally' Hill), doubtless under instruction from Desmond - he's no hands-off boss - has settled on a few subjects as front page topics: immigrants, the weather and of course Diana. Last year Madeleine McCann became another string to their bow.

It's hard to see really how the Express could spin good PR out of this one. I'm more inclined to go with Roy Greenslade's view that it will annihilate their readers' sense of trust in the paper, though it's hard to believe that anyone really believed at the time that the McCann stories were anything other than vicious libels. Most Express readers are old and conservative (a significant reason for their drop in readership is that their readers are literally dying and not being replaced) and could view the litany of lies the papers deliberately published about the McCanns as horrible in a way that they wouldn't for, say, lies written about immigrants.

Generally the Express has failed to mimic the Mail in picking up female readers: this has made the Mail the second most popular daily paper in the country after the Sun. The Mail has a huge budget and is well known for buying up stories and features it will never run just to stop rivals from running them. The Express on the other hand (a friend of mine works there) is governed by parsimony and cost-cutting as a means of limiting its losses. But this just produces a paper with little worth reading in it, and so the circulation and income continue to go down.
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Old 19th Mar 2008, 15:33   #145
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Ahhh... It's years (1983, I think) since I bought a newspaper, and The Express in those days always seemed a cut above the other tabloids - a sort of poor man's Telegraph - the child of Lord Beaverbrook. How are the mighty fallen.
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Old 19th Mar 2008, 15:44   #146
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I had the idea it was doomed when Rosie Boycott (who I felt made a hash of the Indy when she took over from Andrew Marr - Mr Col was on the verge of converting back to the Guardian during her tenure) went to the Express from her two years (?) at the Indy. I don't think she was there long.
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Old 19th Mar 2008, 16:51   #147
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Under Rosie Boycott I think the circulation fall continued (the Express, as gil suggests, was once almost a paper of record and in the 1960s had the largest circulation of any daily: about 4 million, I think: it's been downhill all the way from there, to about 600,000 now) but she undertook a reform of the paper's politics, trying to make it a centre-left mid-market paper to provide an alternative to the Mail. Given time this could have paid off. At that point it was owned by (Lord) Clive Hollick. However he then sold to Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell empire, and Boycott, along with a fair number of the paper's big names (eg Peter Hitchens), walked. Desmond set about pursuing the lowest common denominator, which is more or less his speciality.
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Old 19th Mar 2008, 22:29   #148
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Much to my father's chagrin, my mother used to take the Express (that's how I know how bloody dire it is) but she never read a word of its contents. The sole attraction was the Skeleton crossword (which she later taught me to do) which was unique to The Express - and a bloody good cryptic one at that. The USP was the fact it contained only a very thin scattering of blacked-out squares denoting where a few words would end. And an equally thin scattering of numbers in the open boxes - like two or three maximum. Essentially, this meant you had to work out the cryptic clues and where to place them, which made it tantalisingly yet satisfyingly difficult in a perverse way.
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Old 20th Mar 2008, 7:45   #149
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Much to my father's chagrin, my mother used to take the Express (that's how I know how bloody dire it is) but she never read a word of its contents. The sole attraction was the Skeleton crossword (which she later taught me to do) which was unique to The Express - and a bloody good cryptic one at that. The USP was the fact it contained only a very thin scattering of blacked-out squares denoting where a few words would end. And an equally thin scattering of numbers in the open boxes - like two or three maximum. Essentially, this meant you had to work out the cryptic clues and where to place them, which made it tantalisingly yet satisfyingly difficult in a perverse way.

Where Mum works they take The Express and The Sun for the staffroom. Mum does the small crossword in The Express purely for lack of competition. Everyone else is fighting to struggle with the one in The Sun.
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Old 27th Mar 2008, 12:22   #150
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I just don't know what to say.
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