Newspaper headlines: Email curse, Errol Brown and lifeboat legacy

Metro/Independent/Telegraph/Star front pages Image copyright Metro/Independent/Telegraph/Star

As voters go to the polls in the general election, the papers take the opportunity to deliver their final messages on the front pages.

The BBC, like other broadcasters, is restricted to reporting only factual accounts of the election in line with polling day rules.

With the election understandably hogging the headlines and dominating the opinion, it leaves an eclectic mix of other stories in the papers.

While the country goes to the ballot box, the Times reports on another slightly less weighty poll.

The paper says ornithologist and writer David Lindo has organised an online vote, which closes at midnight, to find Britain's favourite bird.

The Times says feathers will certainly be ruffled and may even fly if the robin is selected, as it has done previously.

For Mr Lindo favours the blackbird and has expressed disappointment that the robin is the odds-on favourite.

Image caption The robin: Very territorial and quite violent

Mr Lindo says the robin's friendliness to humans does not extend to other birds and they are known to kill not only other members of their species but other species who enter their territory.

Robins are "very territorial and quite violent, even the females," he says.

On the front of the Times, there is a warning from psychologist and government adviser Prof Sir Cary Cooper that emails are sapping the life out of Britain's workforce and contributing to a lack of productivity.

Sir Cary says British productivity is the second lowest in the G7 group of nations partly because the country embraces digital technology "a bit too enthusiastically".

IT staff should shut down servers to discourage employees from checking and replying to emails in the evenings and at weekends, so that they arrive fresh for work on Monday morning, he argues - adding that checking inboxes on holiday is "sick".

The Times says he told the British Psychological Society conference in Liverpool: "Emails now dominate us. People think when they have checked their emails they have done a day's work. Emails are not work - they are getting in the way of real work."

Ultra-smooth frontman

The papers mark the passing of the lead singer of Hot Chocolate, Errol Brown, who has died at the age of 71.

In an obituary, the Telegraph says the group's funky and harmonious sound was defined by Brown's seductive voice and charismatic stage presence.

"Bald-headed and slinky-hipped, Brown was a master of the art of the come-hither look (and gently come-hither lyrics)," it says.

The Guardian recalls that the band, who got together in Brixton, had fans in high places and in 1981 they played at a pre-wedding bash in Buckingham Palace for Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Bald-headed and slinky-hipped Errol Brown

The Independent says the ultra-smooth frontman of Hot Chocolate became one of Britain's most successful musicians.

"With their irresistible bass lines and seductive vocals, the band were the uncontested disco kings of the 1970s and 1980s," it continues.

"After a less-than-stellar solo career, Brown and his former bandmates enjoyed a revival when You Sexy Thing featured in The Full Monty."

"With his distinctive moustache and shaved head," says the Mail, "Brown entered the Top 10 with the band in 1970 and went on to have more than 20 chart successes - many of them written by the father of two."

'Astonishing gift'

The Times tells the tale of a millionaire businessman who disliked travelling at sea, who has left two classic Ferrari sports cars worth a total of £8m to the RNLI.

The paper says Richard Colton, who died in March at the age of 83, was a regular if nervous passenger on board cross-channel ferries as he often drove his classic cars to rallies and other events in Europe.

The RNLI says the proceeds from the sale of the cars will be used to pay for a new lifeboat named after Mr Colton and his late wife Caroline.

The Telegraph says Mr Colton bequeathed the proceeds from his "lifelong passion" in what could become the most generous gift the charity has received.

Image caption Richard Colton was a supporter of the RNLI for at least 25 years

"Although there is no official estimate on the cars, two similar vehicles recently sold for a total of £8m," says the Telegraph.

"An equivalent sum would make the bequest the most generous legacy ever accepted by the RNLI, following an anonymous gift of £7.4m in 2013."

The Mail says Mr Colton collected and raced classic cars for 40 years but friends said he was always nervous on boats.

Calling it an "astonishing gift", the Express says the Northamptonshire businessman, part owner of the Colton Brothers shoe empire, had been a member and supporter of the charity for at least 25 years and even put an RNLI sticker in the back window of his 250GT.

In an editorial, the Express says: "Britain's coast will soon be safer thanks to Richard Colton. What a wonderful legacy for such a very worthwhile organisation."

Cashing out, cashing in

Very often in the paper review we have a section called "making people click"... well now experts believe they have found what makes dolphins click, in more than one sense.

The Times reports that marine researchers have discovered that dolphins engage in complex social networking just like humans.

The paper says a study of about 200 bottlenose dolphins along the Indian River Lagoon in Florida found that the animals exhibit both preference and avoidance behaviour, selecting who to associate with, and who to shun.

Elizabeth Murdoch Titcomb, a research biologist at Florida Atlantic University, says: "It's really interesting, especially now with the popularity of human social networks like Facebook, to also see how social networking applies in the dolphin community.

"There is a lot to be learned from establishing who hangs out with who, and where and when."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Splashing about in water. "Like"

The Sun carries the story of punter Gary Walter, 22, who missed out on a £50,000 payday after his three-year-old son cashed out the bet for a mere £7.

Little Archie picked up Gary's phone and pressed the cash-out button on a mobile app, which gives customers an early return on their bet.

At that stage he had got the first three football results correct in a 13-match accumulator - and as it turned out they all came in.

The Sun says Gary was angry at the time but the worst thing was watching every game prediction confirmed.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Could Game of Thrones be behind a mead revival?

It is a "forgotten gem" from the age of warriors, a medieval tipple for England's early kings, a mainstay of re-enactment societies. Now mead is being rebooted for the age of the hipster, says the Times.

The fermented honey drink, it continues, with a solid claim to being the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world, is undergoing a renaissance with sales rising on both sides of the Atlantic.

Producers of the tipple say a combination of the fantasy TV series Game of Thrones and the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta has refreshed the drink in people's minds.

Sophia Fenton, of the Cornish Mead Company, tells the Times: "People are not looking at it and thinking 'what is that?'. They are now thinking 'there's a man [in Game of Thrones] who slays dragons and has fun with ladies who drinks that.

"It is not now seen as a dusty item on the shelf. People now understand more about it. It's much more youthful, more hipster."